The Coral Hairstreak is a small to medium-sized butterfly with a vivid orange (coral) spot band that gives this species its common name. This is the only hairstreak with that row of coral-colored spots without tails. The underside of the wings is light brown with a row of orange spots along the outer hindwing, and a row of black dots is ringed in white across both hind and forewings. There are no tails. On the upperwing, Coral Hairstreaks are dark brown. Males have a scent patch near the forewing margin. Females have a variable row of orange spots.


Coral Hairstreak” by John Flannery, licensed under (CC BY-ND 2.0)


Coral Hairstreak Facts

Butterfly Family: Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Theclinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 1 – 1 1/2 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Shrubby areas, brushlands, openings in woodlands, neglected pastures, streamsides, barrens, chaparral, and brushlands


Coral Hairstreak Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Wild Cherry
  • Black Cherry
  • Chokeberry
  • Wild Plum
  • Chickasaw Plum

Nectar Plants:

  • Butterfly Weed
  • Swamp Milkweed
  • New Jersey Tea
  • Dogbane