Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Chrysophanus Hübner, 1818. Type species: Chrysophanus mopsus Hübner [= Satyrium titus (Fabricius)]. Name rejected and suppressed by ICZN [Opinion 541]
Argus Gerhard, 1850 [non Argus Bohadsch, 1761]. Type species: Lycaena ledereri Boisduval. [Invalid name; preoccupied Argus Bohadsch, 1761)]
, 1876. Type species: Lycaena fuliginosa
Callipsyche Scudder, 1876. Type species: Thecla behrii W.H. Edwards
Neolycaena de Niceville, 1890. Type species: Lycaena sinensis Alpheraky
Bakeria Tutt, 1907 [non Bakeria Kieffer, 1905]. Type species: Lycaena ledereri Boisduval. Preoccupied invalid name
Edwardsia Tutt, 1907 [non Edwardsia Costa, 1838]. Type species: Papilio w-album Knoch. Preoccupied invalid name
Erschoffia Tutt, 1907 [non Erschoffia Swinhoe, 1900]. Type species: Thecla lunulata Erschoff. Preoccupied invalid name
Felderia Tutt, 1907 [non Felderia Walsingham, 1887]. Type species: Papilio eximia Fixsen. Preoccupied invalid name
Fixsenia Tutt, 1907. Type species: Thecla herzi Fixsen
Klugia Tutt, 1907 [non Klugia Robineau-Desvoidy, 1863]. Type species: Papilio w-album Knoch. Preoccupied invalid name
Kollaria Tutt, 1907 [non Kollaria Pictet, 1841]. Type species: Thecla sassanides Kollar. Preoccupied invalid name
Leechia Tutt, 1907 [non Leechia South, 1901]. Type species: Thecla thalia Leech. Preoccupied invalid name
Nordmannia Tutt, 1907. Type species: Lycaena myrtale Klug
Chattendenia Tutt, 1908. Type species: Papilio w-album Knoch. Replaces Edwardsia Tutt & Klugia Tutt
Strymonidia Tutt, 1908. Type species: Thecla thalia Leech. Replaces Leechia Tutt. Genus = Fixsenia
Pseudothecla Strand, 1910. Type species: Thecla lunulata Erschoff. Replaces Erschoffia Tutt
Superflua Strand, 1910. Type species: Thecla sassanides Kollar. Replaces Kollaria Tutt
Thecliola Strand, 1910. Type species: Papilio eximia Fixsen. Replaces Felderia Tutt
Tuttiola Strand, 1910. Type species: Papilio spini (Schiffermuller)
Necovatia Verity, 1951. Type species: Papilio acaciae Fabricius
Eurystrymon Clench, 1961. Type species: Thecla favonius J.E. Smith. Based on genitalia equated by Clench (1978) to Fixsenia Tutt; however, type species of Fixsenia (and Strymonidia) have totally different coloration, and probably should not be grouped with Eurystrymon.
Harkenclenus dos Passos, 1970. Type species: Chrysophanus mopsus Hübner [= Satyrium titus (Fabricius)]. Replaces Chrysophanus Hübner
Rhymnaria Zhdanko, 1983. Type species: Lycaena rhymnus Eversmann
Armenia Dubatolov & Korshunov, 1984. Type species: Lycaena ledereri Boisduval. Replaces Argus Gerhard & Bakeria Tutt
Satyrium subgenus Neosatyrium M.S. Fisher, 2009. Type species: Satyrium calanus (Hübner)
Explanation of Names
This genus has had an inordinate number of synonyms published. Tutt published many names based on very minor distinctions, and most of them are invalid later homonyms (preoccupied); however, the invalid names were renamed later. Some names are recognized as distinct genera or as subgenera by some authors. In Eurasia (where most of the synonymous names originated). Fixsenia, Nordmannia, Superflua &/or Neolycaena are often distinguished.
In North America, Calliphysche, Euristrymon, & Harkenclenus are still sometimes separated as distinct genera or subgenera, and the subgenus Neosatyrium has been described to include the bulk of our species.
Our species would be arranged into subgenera as follows:
subgenus Satyrium - includes S. fuliginosum
subgenus Callipsyche - includes S. behrii
subgenus Eurystrymon [or Fixsenia] - includes S. favonius
subgenus Harkenclenus - includes S. titus
subgenus Neosatyrium - includes the rest
The genus Phaeostrymon is closely related, and considering the level of "lumping" within Satyrium, a case might be made to subsume it as well.
A relatively large genus, difficult to characterize. Most species are grayish to brownish above and below (sometimes partly orange above) with dark markings below as rows of spots or broken offset series of dashes or bars. Most species have two tails at the tornus of hind wing (one long, one short), but some have only one or are untailed. On the lower hind wing, most have a metalic blue cresent or half-moon shaped spot at the tornus (anal angle), often capped in orange; most have orange on either side of the blue spot and often extending up along the outer margin of the hind wing; the orange spot toward the front of the blue spot (and sometimes others) usually has a black pupil. Males of most species have a small oval androconal patch at the end of the discal cell on the upper front wing.
Similar-looking species of other genera will usually have one or more of the following differences: Prominent blue to purple coloring above; green coloring below; dark markings forming solid lines (often edged in red) that cross more than two cells without offset or breaking; bright orange coloring at the back of the head and/or on abdomen above; prominent round black spots toward base of hind wing (none on Satyrium); numerous fine "dusty" dark striations on most of lower wing surfaces (not on Satyrium).
A few of the tailless species (S. behrii, S. fuliginosum, & S. semiluna) might be confused with certain Blues or Coppers, and descriptions should be looked at carefully if in doubt. The most similar Blues and Coppers have strong black bars across the ends (and often middles) of the discal cell of the lower front wings that are absent or weak in similar Satyrium species.
Eurasia and North America
Varied, but most species favor woodland and forest edges and/or canopies near flowering nectar sources and their larval host plants.
Mostly single-brooded with adult peak flights in June or July
Mostly woody dicots in Salicaceae, Fagaceae, Rosaceae, or Juglandaceae. A few species use Legumes (Caragana or Lupinus). Adults are avid flower visitors, visiting a wide range of plants, but especially fond of flowers on plants of the Apocynaceae (i.e. Asclepias, Apocynum, etc.) and Fabaceae (i.e. Medicago, Melilotus, Trifolium, etc.)
A varied genus that includes a large percentage of our North American Hairstreaks. They tend to be territorial insects that perch at tips of branches well above the ground, and males of most will chase intruders then return to the same or a nearby perch.