Ebner did not list the Hickory Hairstreak in the Butterflies of Wisconsin in 1970. The Hickory Hairstreak, like the Northern Crescent and Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, are newly recognized species, and undoubtedly there is still much to be learned about their Wisconsin distribution. The Banded Hairstreak pictured in Ebner’s book is actually a very typical Hickory Hairstreak.
Weekly sightings for Hickory Hairstreak
This species is similar in size to the other Wisconsin Hairstreaks. Below, the postmedian band is wide and offset, with white on both edges of the bands, and a blue spot that extends to the postmedian band on the hindwing.
The Hickory Hairstreak is most similar to the Banded Hairstreak. The postmedian band of the forewing in the Hickory Hairstreak is thicker, more offset, and has white on both sides of the band. The blue spot of the Hickory extends farther into the wing than the blue spot on the Banded Hairstreak. This can be very difficult to discern, so you may want to look for the difference in the comparative size of the orange-capped spot directly above it, which is noticeably smaller in the Banded than the blue spot in the Hickory Hairstreak.
The Striped Hairstreak has much wider and offset bands, and an orange cap on the blue spot on the hind wing beneath. The Hickory and the Banded Hairstreaks do not have this orange cap on the blue spot.
Clearings and woodland edges especially where Hickory, its preferred host plant grows. This species is also reported to feed on Walnut, Oak, and Ash.
One brood, from late June through July.
The Hickory Hairstreak is not a common species in Wisconsin, but may be found throughout the state. This species, like the Banded and Edwards’ Hairstreaks have outbreaks where they may become locally abundant.
Trempealeau State Park, Trempealeau Co., WI. July 11, 2003.