Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 1 - 1½ inches (2.5 - 3.9 cm) UPPER SURFACE (dorsal) Seldom seen. Dark brown. Male with dull white scent patch (stigma) on upper forewing. UNDER SURFACE (ventral) Gray/brown; numerous bands outlined in white, giving a striped appearance; orange-capped blue patch and several red spots near tails. Two hindwing tails.

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

Egg: Purple or purplish brown; flattened discs. Laid on the twigs and buds of host plants. The overwintering stage.

Caterpillar: Yellow green; pale dashes along sides; dark dorsal stripe on abdomen. Short hairs. Flattened disc. Head light brown. 

Chrysalis: May be brown, mottled with reddish brown; very dark brown. Covered with short, light hairs. 

Like all satyrium hairstreaks, Striped Hairstreaks are basically brown butterflies that are decorated with a blue dot, a few red spots, and white dashes on their underwings. Satyrium hairstreaks can be difficult to identify, but Striped's descriptively named wings provide much appreciated field marks. There is only one brood (univoltine) in late spring/early summer. While Stripeds often fly with other hairstreaks in their genus, they are also found in more densely wooded habitats.  Look for them in thickets of Sparkleberry, which serves as both a host and nectar plant.

Caterpillars hatch from eggs that were laid the previous summer and eat buds, flowers, and eventually, young leaves. Young larvae bore into buds where they eat, hidden from view. Chrysalides are formed in the leaf litter, and adults emerge, mate, and lay eggs that will hatch the following spring. Stripeds often nectar from the flowers of their host plants. One host, Sparkleberry, is a favorite nectar source for all satyrium hairstreaks.  

Striped Hairstreaks range throughout much of the eastern and part of the western United States. In Alabama, they are widespread and probably more common than current records indicate.

 

 

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 albutterflyatlas@gmail.com.

Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Bibb, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Colbert, Covington, Dale, DeKalb, Escambia, Etowah, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Marshall, Mobile, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Washington, 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):

  • 22 - Shelby - 5/14/2020
  • 19 - Shelby - 5/24/2021
  • 11 - Shelby - 5/17/2015
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 5 15 32 33 33 8 3 4 1 2

Habitat

Pine woodlands, sand hills, dry hardwood forests, fence rows, rocky woods, along rivers and streams, and cut-over land. 

Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Hardwood forest
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Woodland stream
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Powerline cut

Host and Nectar Plants

Reports from nearby states list members of the Heath (Ericaceae) and Rose (Rosaceae) families including Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), hawthorns (Crataegus spp.), and blueberries (Vaccinium spp.).

The following have been verified in Alabama:

 

For more information about these plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the links above.

Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Black Cherry
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Black Cherry flowers
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Black Cherry leaves
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Black Cherry leaves
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Black Cherry bark
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Sparkleberry
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Sparkleberry
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Sara Bright
Sparkleberry flowers and leaves
Striped Hairstreak
Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops)
County
© Fred Nation/AL Plant Atlas
Swamp Azalea

Landscaping Ideas

N/A