Satyrium [Harkenclenus] titus
Coral Hairstreak

Family:Lycaenidae
Family Description:
Note: The previous genus name Harkenclenus was derived from the name of a butterfly expert, Harry Kendon Clench, who specialized in Hairstreaks.


Description:
Caterpillar: The caterpillar is yellowish green to green, and is marked with a dark green line running lengthwise along the back, and pinkish red patches, dotted with white on the edges, at the front and rear. It is covered with downy hair. The average, full-grown length is 1 inch.
Adult: The butterfly is small to medium-sized, with a wingspan of 1 to 1 inches, and its appearance varies regionally. The upperside is typically brown and may be clouded with orange. There may be reddish spots along the outer edges of the wings, particularly on the hindwing. Underneath is gray to brown and may be dotted with black. On the underside of the hindwing, there is a curved row of bright orange spots (the color of coral) along the outer edge. Although it is a Hairstreak, it lacks the characteristic tail extending from each hindwing.

Range:
This species ranges from southern British Columbia east to the east coast, and south to Nevada, New Mexico, and northern Texas east to Georgia. It occurs through much of Idaho.

Habitat:

It utilizes a variety of habitats including meadows, fields, brushy areas, woodlands, and mountain canyons.

Diet:

Caterpillar: Caterpillars feed on the leaves and fruit of trees of the genus Prunus, such as wild cherry, wild plum, and chokecherry.
Adult:
Butterflies drink flower nectar, often from butterfly weed (Asclepias spp.) in the east or dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) in the west.

Ecology:

There is one generation of caterpillars each growing season, which hatch from eggs laid the previous year. Caterpillars feed at night and retreat to the base of the plant or into the leaf litter during the day. Each caterpillar undergoes four stages of growth, called instars. The caterpillar is equipped with a honey gland, also known as a dorsal nectary organ, which emits a sugary solution agreeable to ants. The ants feed on the solution and in turn protect the caterpillar from predators. Adults generally fly from mid-May through August.

Reproduction:

Males perch to wait for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on host plants, usually on twigs but occasionally at the base of the plant.

Conservation:
Idaho Status: Unprotected nongame species.
Global Rank: G5; populations are widespread, abundant, and secure..


References:
Ballmer, G. R. and G. F. Pratt. 1988. A survey of the last instar larvae of the Lycaenidae of California. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 27:1-81.

Ferris, C. D. and F. M. Brown. (eds.) 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, USA, 442 pp.

Opler, P. A., H. Pavulaan, and R. E. Stanford. 1995. Butterflies of North America. Jamestown, North Dakota, USA: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/bflyusa.htm (Version 05Nov98).

Opler, P. A. and A. B.Wright. 1999. A Field Guide to the Western Butterflies.   Second Edition.  Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York, USA, 540 pp.

Pyle, R. M. 1981. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, USA, 924 pp.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA, 583 pp.

Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western U.S.A. Butterflies (Including Adjacent Parts of Canada and Mexico). Published by authors, Denver, Colorado, USA, 275 pp.