Mexico, USA & Canada
Sagebrush Sooty Hairstreak
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Satyrium semiluna, Montana, 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. The patterning varies considerably
from one species to another. Some species such as
californica have a row of prominent
black post-median spots. In others these are replaced by the fine
lines that give "hairstreaks" their colloquial name. Additionally
there are two species semiluna and
fuliginosa that have dull brown
uppersides and Polyommatine-like spots on the undersides, such that
they could quite easily be mistaken for female 'blues'.
Satyrium semiluna is found in the
western USA, in California, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Oregon,
Wyoming and Montana.
This species is
hilly areas of sagebrush, and open dry meadows in areas of pine
foodplant is Lupinus ( Fabaceae ).
Males perch on
bushes or flowers to await and intercept passing females. Both sexes
nectar at a wide range of herbaceous flowers.