Edward's Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii)

1.3 mi north of NJ Hwy 49 and just south of Hesstown Road. Peaslee WMA, Maurice River Township, Cumberland County, NJ

Click on the images for a larger view

#1 - S. edwardsii ?

#1 - S. edwardsii ?

Satyrium edwardsii - NC
Here is the verdict from the experts.

Dale Schweitzer: #1 is not a great angle and a very worn specimen. I would certainly not base an occurrence record on the photo but I think it is edwardsii. Note particularly that at least some HW spots appear completely encircled with white (a rare character in falacer and universal in eastern edwardsii) and the FW spots are smallish (though larger than MOST edwardsii) and well offset-not straight.

David Wright: Beat-up specimen #1 is the one I'm least sure of. I sort of suspect it is calanus. It needs dissection. It could be either.

#2 - S. c. falacer

#2 - S. c. falacer

Satyrium calanus falacer - NC
Dale Schweitzer: #2 is almost certainly NOT edwardsii. This is what passes for it in South Jersey though. This is the late flying oak feeding species known as S. calanus falacer in part. Some are indistinguishable by me from the hickory feeder which is the other part of falacer but yours is the oak feeder. Note the essentially fused in-line FW spots, the semi-fused HW spots--that is not fully white ringed and obviously not separated and rounded. Very good match for short series of this oak feeder from the Pine Barrens and up north.

David Wright:Specimen #2 is also calanus. (It has the gray ground color of a calanus female and looks like the calanus I catch/photo/and see around Chatsworth.
My Comments:
I have no doubt that #1 is Satyrium edwardsii. It matches the points that Dale Schweizer mentions, and I can confirm these because of better views in the field than on the photos. Also, compare to the edwardsii photo from NC. There is a specimen record (1994 DS) for the species within 1.5 mi. of the location, and on the same powerline cut, so it would not be a new locality record.

Picture #2 confused me, because in the field the spots on the hind wing were small (compare to calanus picture from NC), but I was ignoring the important fore-wing spots. These are broad and appear fused as mentioned by Schweitzer (again, compare to picture from NC), and not at all like edwardsii.

Here are some additional comments by David Wright: I took a look at your photos posted on the web. These are indeed challenging! I suppose you are aware that alot of bizarre oak-feeding S. calanus occur in southern NJ. Bill Wright authored a paper on this subject that appeared in J. Lepid. Soc. about 25 years ago. Many pine barrens calanus bear edwardsii-like features and are easily confused with this species. I frankly find them virtually indistinguishable at times. Genitalic dissection is needed to diagnose some specimens.

What a great learning experience!