Banded Hairstreak

Satyrium calanus

This species and the Edwards’ Hairstreak share many of the same habitats and behaviors. Both species are found throughout the state and where you find one species, you are likely to see the other.

In Wisconsin, this species and the Hickory Hairstreak have long been confused. The Hickory Hairstreak was not listed in the Butterflies of Wisconsin, as it was not described at that time. The photo of the Banded Hairstreak in this book appears to actually be a Hickory Hairstreak.

Weekly sightings for Banded Hairstreak

Identifying characteristics

Below, the Banded Hairstreak is brownish gray, like the Edwards’ Hairstreak, but is slightly darker on average, with a band of rectangular spots, usually with the white prominent only on the outside. These spots are more or less connected into a band with which this species gets its name. On the back wing, there are several submarginal orange crescents, a blue spot not capped by orange, and an obvious tail.

Similar species

The Edwards’ Hairstreak has separate darker ovals that are surrounded by white.

The Hickory Hairstreak usually has wider bands that are white on both sides, and a blue spot that clearly extends to or nearly to, the submarginal row of spots. Bouseman and Sternburg in the Field Guide to Butterflies of Illinois (2001), state, “Sight records without confirmation by collecting are probably not to be trusted.” This undoubtedly is aimed at the the difficulty distinguishing this species from the Hickory Hairstreak.


Woodland edges, savannah, and hedgerows that contain a variety of oaks, the main larvae plant for this species. This species may also feed on hickory and walnuts.


One brood, from late June until early August.


Like the Edwards’ Hairstreak, this species may become very common in oak savanna or oak woodlands, but does not congregate in large numbers. Twenty individuals of this species in one area would be an unusually high number of Banded Hairstreaks.

Late Banded Hairstreak Sightings

Date County Reported by
Aug 11, 2008 Iowa Ann Thering
Aug 13, 2014 Waupaca Chuck Petters
Aug 13, 2014 Douglas Scott and Ann Swengel
Aug 14, 2014 Dunn Pam Campbell
Aug 18, 2013 Washburn Dan Sonnenberg


Map showing sighting locations for Banded Hairstreak
Map key
Banded HairstreakClick to enlarge

Bohn Lake, Waushara Co., WI. July 1, 2005.

Banded HairstreakClick to enlarge

Germania Marsh, Marquette Co., WI. June 29, 2002.

Banded HairstreakClick to enlarge

Puchyan Prairie SNA, Green Lake Co., WI. July 12, 2004.

Banded HairstreakClick to enlarge

Bohn Lake, Waushara Co., WI. July 1, 2005.

Banded HairstreakClick to enlarge

Bohn Lake, Waushara Co., WI. July 1, 2005.