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ID for a Florida panhandle hairstreak? - Satyrium kingi

ID for a Florida panhandle hairstreak? - Satyrium kingi
Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, USA
May 17, 2011
These hairstreaks were all over the place along a cross-county trail in the Baars-Firestone Wildlife Sanctuary at the University of West Florida. I thought it would be a simple matter to ID them, but I see there are quite a few similar hairstreaks. The one that looks most similar to me is is the King's Hairstreak (Satyrium kingi):

BugGuide, however, has no identification information for this species, so I'm not sure what features are diagnostic. Furthermore, while S. kingi does occur in the Southeast, it's listed as rare.

Here is a photo of another individual taken at the same time:

Way to go, Nancy!!!
A fantastic addition to BugGuide... but more importantly, I really hope that these images help in the conservation efforts for the sanctuary where you were photographing. It would be such a shame if the area was developed!

Moved from Hairstreaks.

Hi Nancy,
good to see you're having a good time in Florida.
This butterfly looks rather close to Satyrium calanus calanus (Hübner, [1809]).
Just noticed your link to S. kingi. I agree that's a better choice because of the orange cap on the blue tail spot: Satyrium kingi at Butterflies Of America.
See this page for brief description and distribution:S. kingi (Klots & Clench, 1952).

Thanks for the pointers!
Hi Hartmut. After I'd made the post, I saw the Butterflies of America link you mentioned. These definitely have an orange cap on a blue tail spot. I hope an expert weighs in.

Yes, it's definitely a King's
Yes, it's definitely a King's Hairstreak - nice find! Harry LeGrand and Jeff Pippen also agree with this ID.

Thanks so much for the ID! I really wanted confirmation of this species because the proposed update for the UWF master plan calls for developing the wildlife sanctuary for athletic facilities, including a 3-hole golf course, driving range, intramural fields and two parking lots. The UWF Student Environmental Action Society has mounted a campaign to save the Sanctuary, and I am sure they will be very interested in this find!

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