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 High Count information shows the highest numbers recorded for this species as well as when and where they occurred.

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

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

  • Map Symbol for Recent Sightings Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Map Symbol for Semi-Recent Sightings Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Map Symbol for Old Sightings Sightings more than 10 years ago

High count(s):

  • 11 - Shelby - 5/17/2015
  • 3 - Shelby - 5/15/2016
  • 2 - Shelby - 5/21/2011
County Distribution Map

View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 3 5 19 4 3 1 1 1


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:

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