Behr's Hairstreak (Satyrium behrii) (W.H. Edwards, 1870)

Diagnosis: An average-sized hairstreak (wingspan: 25 to 28 mm), without tails, this butterfly is easily distinguished by its orange-yellow upperside with a broad brown border. The underside is darker than most other hairstreaks and has small dark spots bordered by white.

Subspecies: Canadian records are of the northern subspecies columbia, which is darker on the underside with larger black spots than nominate subspecies behrii. Subspecies columbia was described from Fairview, British Columbia.

Range: Behr's Hairstreak is found from New Mexico and California north to southern British Columbia, where it has been recorded in the Okanagan Valley as far north as Penticton.


Specimen collection data

Similar Species: None in Canada.

Early Stages: The larva is green, with a white dorsal line and yellow, white, and green diagonal lines. Jones (1951) lists lupines as a foodplant, but this is probably an error. The only confirmed records are on shrub Rosaceae, Antelope-brush (Purshia tridentata) in Canada.

Abundance: In British Columbia behrii is localized to areas where Antelope-brush is found.

Flight Season: Behr's Hairstreak has been recorded in June and July in Canada.

Habits: This hairstreak prefers drier locales, particularly dry mountain slopes where sagebrush and Antelope-brush are abundant. It is more easily approached than most hairstreaks and does not stray far from its larval foodplant (Pyle, 1981).

© 2002. This material is reproduced with permission from The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.