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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Orange Hairstreak
Satyrium behrii  EDWARDS, 1870
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe -
Satyrium behrii crossi, Wyoming, USA  Frank Model
Introduction
Almost all neotropical and North American Theclinae species are placed in the Eumaeini. The tribe is not especially well represented in collections, so for a long time many remained unstudied and were inappropriately filed away in the 'convenience' genus Thecla. Many taxonomists have attempted to rationalise the systematics of the Eumaeini, the most recent being Robbins who published a revision in 2004, reclassifying the taxa into 83 genera. Currently there are 1058 known species. Taking into account their small size, secretive behaviour, and the great similarities between many species, it is estimated that about another 200 species probably remain to be discovered.
There are 64 described species in the genus Satyrium, which has at various times been known by the synonyms Neolycaena, Nordmannia, Pseudothecla and Strymonidia. The genus occurs across the temperate, sub-arctic and subtropical regions of the northern hemisphere.
In North America there are 13 Satyrium species, All have grey or brownish-grey undersides. The patterning varies considerably from one species to another. Some species such as californica and titus have a row of prominent black post-median spots, while in others these are replaced by the fine lines that give "hairstreaks" their colloquial name. In behrii and several others this streak is broken up into a series of staggered dashes. All Satyrium species have earthy brown uppersides, and in the case of behrii the basal areas of the wings are a metallic coppery colour.
Satyrium behrii is found in the western states of the USA.
Habitats
This species is associated with chaparral, sagebrush and open areas of pine forest.
Lifecycle
The eggs are greenish-white, dome shaped, finely reticulated, with a conspicuous micropyle. They are laid singly on twigs or leaves of Purshia and Cercocarpus. ( Rosaceae ). The caterpillars are of the typical louse-like Thecline shape, and are green, with white, green and yellow diagonal bars on the sides, and and a bluish-white dorsal stripe. The chrysalis is pale tan, with tiny dark specks.
Adult behaviour
Males perch on the foliage of bushes to await and intercept passing females. Both sexes nectar at a wide range of herbaceous flowers.
 

 

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