The family Lycaenidae is a large and varied worldwide group that has 4,000 to 6,000
species depending on the ever-changing taxonomic flux. They are collectively called
Gossamer Butterflies or Gossamer Wings. The family is further divided into eight
subfamilies. The first is the Theclinae which includes the Hairstreaks, Sunstreaks,
Elfins and others. The second is the Polyommatinae which includes the Blues, Azures,
Arguses, Caeruleans and others. The third subfamily is the Lycaeninae which includes
the Coppers, Sapphires, Silverlines and others. The forth is the Poritiinae which
includes the gems. The fifth is the Miletinae which includes the Brownies, Harvesters,
Darkies, Apeflies and others. The sixth is the Curetinae which includes the Sunbeams.
The seventh family is the Lipteninae which includes about 500 tropical rainforest
gossamer wings. The eighth and final subfamily is the Liphyrinae and includes the
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Satyrium calanus belongs to the subfamily Theclinae. It’s range includes most of
the eastern half of the U.S. It is found in forested areas that have oaks.
The larval food plant for this species are oaks, Quercus sp., walnut Juglan sp.,
and hickory Carya sp. Males perch on trees to wait for females. Eggs are laid on
twigs and larvae eat the catkins or leaves and hatch the following spring.