Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2.5 - 3.9 cm). Undersurfaces are gray/brown. There are two hindwing tails.  Numerous bands are outlined in white, giving a striped appearance.  Hindwing has an orange-capped blue patch and several red spots near the tails.  Upper surface is seldom seen, but is uniformly dark brown.  Males have a dull white scent patch (stigma) on the upper forewings.

ID TIp: Ventral wing bars give the illusion of stripes. Prominent orange cap on ventral hindwing spot.

Egg: Flat, brownish eggs are laid on the twigs and buds of host plants.  They are the overwintering stage.

Caterpillar: Caterpillars are yellow green with pale dashes along the sides and a dark dorsal stripe on the abdomen.  They feed on buds, young leaves, and developing fruits.

Chrysalis: Brown, mottled with reddish brown

Striped Hairstreaks belong to a genus of hairstreaks known as satyriums.  Like all satyrium hairstreaks, they are basically brown butterflies that are decorated with a blue dot, a few red spots, and white dashes on their underwings.  They have only one brood (univoltine) and fly in early summer.  However, Stripeds differ from their relatives by choosing more densely wooded habitats, and they seldom engage in the pugnacious territorial dogfights that are typical of the genus.  In general, satyium hairstreaks can be difficult to identify, but the Striped Hairstreak's descriptive wings provide much appreciated field marks.

Distribution and Abundance

A dot on the county map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the species within that county. In some cases, a species may be common throughout the county, in others it may be found in only a specific habitat.

The sightings bar graphs depict the timing of flight(s) within each of three geographic regions. Place your cursor on a bar within the graph to see the number of individuals recorded during that period.

The abundance calendar displays the total number of individuals recorded within each week of the month. Both the graphs and the calendar are on based data collection that began in 2000.

The records analyzed here are only a beginning. As more data is collected, these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama. Submit your sightings to albutterflyatlas@gmail.com.

Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Bibb, Cleburne, Colbert, DeKalb, Houston, Jefferson, Shelby, Winston

  • Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Sightings more than 10 years ago
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 1 4 18 3 2 1 1 1

Habitat

Near edges of openings in hardwood forests.

Host and Nectar Plants

Members of the Heath and Rose familes, including Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), hawthorns (Crataegus spp.), and blueberries (Vaccineum spp.), have been reported.

This host plant has been verified in Alabama: Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum).

Striped Hairtreaks also avidly nectar from Sparkleberry flowers.  Milkweeds, clethra, and Sourwood are among the flowers that provide nectar for Striped Hairstreaks.

For more information about the documented host plants and/or nectar plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the following links:

Landscaping Ideas