Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Satyrium saepium, Kern Plateau, Sierra
Nevada, USA ©
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
are 64 described species in the genus Satyrium,
which has at various times been known by the synonyms
Nordmannia, Pseudothecla and
Strymonidia. The genus occurs across
the temperate, sub-arctic and subtropical regions of the northern
In North America
there are 13 Satyrium species, All have
grey or brownish-grey undersides. Some species such as
titus have a row of prominent black
post-median spots. Others including saepium
lack the spots and have a 'hairstreak' line across the wings.
Satyrium species have earthy brown
uppersides, and in the case of saepium
this is overlaid with a metallic coppery-bronze sheen.
Satyrium saepium is found in British
Colombia, and in the western USA.
This species is
found in chaparral and in open areas of deciduous forest and pine
The eggs are
greenish-white, dome shaped, finely reticulated, with a conspicuous
micropyle. They are laid singly on twigs, leaves and buds of
Ceanothus ( Rhamnaceae ). The
caterpillars are of the typical louse-like Thecline shape, and are
pale green, with 4 sets of diagonal white bars along the side of
each segment, and a white dorsal stripe. The pupa is pale brown inn
colour, marked with tiny black blotches.
Males perch on
bushes at the top of hills, to await and intercept passing females.
Both sexes nectar at a wide range of flowering plants.