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Sylvan/California Hairstreak - Satyrium - female

Sylvan/California Hairstreak - Satyrium - Female
Nelson, Central Kootenay, British Columbia, Canada
July 19, 2015

Well, I have to admit,
The second photo does add weight to the idea that they are different (they look different to me). I'd have to see series of them from your are area to be absolutely certain though. I'll leave it where it is for now. I think the discussion we just had will suffice to point out the possibilities, and it probably is a Sylvan, but this is good for now.

To keep different individuals separate (as per BugGuide rules). I've unlinked them, but here is a thumbnail/link to your other one to keep the comparison easy.

California/Sylvan Hairstreak
I've been photographing more satyriums in BC and I'm still wrestling with the cap over the blue spot. Norbert Kondla, Alberta says he looks for a definite V over that blue spot, as opposed to minimal black edging as in this photo. For my part, I cannot tell the two apart. The California should have more orange spotting along both the HW and FW edge. The Sylvan, hardly any. But worn individuals make this difficult to determine...

Moved from Sylvan Hairstreak.

These two could drive a person insane
Some people swear they are "easy", and in some places they are, but some individual butterflies just don't fit the stereotypes. On this one, the nature of the black markings tend favor Sylvan a bit more than Californian I think, but the orange markings (leaning maybe a bit toward brown) appear to be on both front and hind wings, and extend most of the width of both wings. Plus, it's hard to tell for certain, but it looks to me like there is some orange above the blue spot. So, the orange patterning argues for Californian.

Do you know what the larvae feed on in your area? I've read that they both use Willow up there, but I'm suspicious, pretty much everywhere else Californian use Rose family (with rumors of Oak toward the south). Adults don't stray far from the host, but if you have something Rosaceous growing among the willows, that's no help at all.

I've also wondered if the two might hybridize a bit too.

Added 2nd Individual
I've uploaded another photographed individual from our area that is definitely California. Note how close the post-medial spotting runs toward the end of the wing. And a much more defined orange cap.

California or Sylvan....
They do both feed on Willow up here. But this was photographed in our yard and we have lots of Rosaceous plants. Many fruit trees including several plum trees, and lots of berries, so...not much help. I must admit there does seem to be a suggestion of a faded orange cap on the blue spot, which suggests California. That seems the strongest argument for California.

I'm not positive,
but I strongly suspect that this lady is really Satyrium californicum

California or Sylvan...?
I can see that possibility. Was unable to determine if there is any orange above the post marginal blue spot due to wear. Also can't be sure about the size and positioning of the spotting. The one argument I see for California is the cell bar on the HW is fairly strong....We get both in our area in BC and Washington.

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