E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Satyrium liparops Scudder, 1876
Hairstreaks; Striped Hairstreak
Family: Lycaenidae (Gossamer Wings)
Species account authors: Crispin Guppy and Jon Shepard.
Extracted from Butterflies of British Columbia
The Families of Lepidoptera of BC
Introduction to the Butterflies of BC

© Jeremy Gatten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5975)

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Distribution of Satyrium liparops in British Columbia.
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Species Information


The Striped Hairstreak has a dark brown ground colour on the upperside of the wings, with a large median tawny flush on the dorsal forewing of both sexes. On the underside the wings have the same ground colour, with slightly darker areas outlined by white lines on the lateral sides, hence the common name.

Immature Stages

Saunders (1869d) first described the immatures. The mature larva is green with a darker green dorsal stripe.


BC populations are the northern Canadian Prairie subspecies S.l. fletcheri (Michener & dos Passos, 1942) (TL: "Manitoba").

Genus Description

The name Satyrium is from the Latin saturos (Satyr), a goatlike woodland deity associated with Bacchus. The Satyrs were voluptuous dancers and this generic name draws attention to the sprightly flight of these hairstreaks (Emmet 1991). The common name is derived from the characteristic white "hairline" across the ventral hindwing.

There are usually tails on the hindwings of species in this genus of hairstreaks. The aedeagus of the male is flared at the tip, with a serrated keel. The aedeagus has one or two cornuti, one of which is toothed. The pair of valves are close together at the base but very divergent at the ends. Clench (1961) provided the modern definition of the genus. He did not include in the genus the species S. titus, which has only one cornutus but is otherwise identical to the other species in the genus. Clench indicated that the genus was Holarctic, but authorities in the Palearctic recognize other genera for their fauna, such as Strymonidia, Nordmannia, etc. There are 15 species in this Nearctic genus, seven occuring in BC. The larvae feed on a wide variety of shrubs and perennials, including oaks (Quercus), willow (Salix), buckbrush (Ceanothus), chokecherry (Prunus), saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia), and, in one case, legumes.


The Striped Hairstreak flies from late June to late July. Mature larvae are found by early June. Pupation occurs in mid-June and the adult emerges within two weeks. The egg is the overwintering stage. The Striped Hairstreak was observed by Shepard perching on branches of saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia) where that was the only shrub, and saskatoon is thus the presumed larval foodplant. The Striped Hairstreak flies in the same habitat as the Coral Hairstreak in the Peace River region, but the Coral Hairstreak feeds on chokecherry.


The Striped Hairstreak is found in BC only on the north banks of the Peace River Canyon and some of its tributaries. Males can be easily observed at the tops of the south-facing banks wherever chokecherry grows.



The Striped Hairstreak is found east of the Rockies from the Peace River region of BC south to CO and east to NS. In the east it occurs south to TX and FL.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS2RedNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2020-07-09 6:42:10 PM]
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