May 22nd, 2012. The Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is blooming. Many butterflies – most noticeably the swallowtails - work these flowers. Smaller butterflies also work the flowers. Among these are Coral Hairstreaks (Satyrium titus). These photos follow a single Coral Hairstreak for just two minutes in its day.
Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) flowers are brilliant orange and attract butterflies, particularly the big ones such as the…
swallowtails. This Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) was happily working the flowers on this plant when it was repeatedly ‘buzzed’ by a Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor). Both of the swallowtails flew off to another plant nearby. But quietly, and apparently unnoticed by the bigger butterflies, another small butterfly, a Coral Hairstreak was also working these flowers. You can see it in the lower left of this photo.
The hairstreak then moved up to the top of this cluster of flowers and worked its way across them until the Zebra Swallowtail followed by the bickering Pipevine Swallowtail flew back to this plant.
The hairstreak dropped down under the flowers to avoid the conflict above. After the swallowtails left again, the hairstreak…
climbed back onto the top of the flowers and continued working that flowers.
A close-up of the Coral Hairstreak. At this point, we left the hairstreak to work the flowers in peace.
The Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus) occurs in the northern counties in Georgia between mid-May to mid-August. The flowers of the Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) are a good place to look for them. We’ve seen them in Hancock and Jones counties in Georgia.
Click on an image to view a closer image
- Michael Beohm, West Central Georgia Butterflies: Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus)
- Butterflies and Moths of North America: Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus)
- BugGuide: Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus)