Banded Hairstreak butterflies (Satyrium calanus) lay their eggs on the twigs of oak, walnut, hickory, ash, or boxelder trees. The eggs remain dormant throughout the winter and hatch in the spring. The caterpillars then feed on the leaves of these trees, growing and strengthening for the next stage of their life cycle.
When gardening for pollinators, remember, it’s not all about the flowers. Trees are important host plants, providing food and shelter for thousands of caterpillars. For example, an oak tree can support over 500 different species of lepidoptera. So when in doubt—plant a tree!
Author: Lisa Schneider
Photo credit: Germania Marsh
Snetsinger Butterfly Garden Knowledge Series