Scientific Name: Satyrium behrii
Other/Previous Names: Behr's (Columbia) Hairstreak ,Satyrium behrii columbia
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2012
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This small butterfly is restricted to antelope-brush habitat in British Columbia, a habitat that has decreased considerably in extent in the past century and remains under threat due to land use change (conversion to viticulture, residential and commercial development) and the impact of fire. It rarely disperses much more than 120 m and persists in small, isolated fragments of habitat, which continue to decline in area and quality. Large annual fluctuations in population size, as documented for the largest Canadian population, increase the species’ vulnerability and call into question its long term viability.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in November 2000. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in May 2012.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05
Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.
Image of Behr's Hairstreak
Behr’s Hairstreak (Satyrium behrii) is a small butterfly (wingspan 2.5 – 2.9 cm) in the family Lycaenidae. The dorsal forewing and hindwing surfaces have wide black margins that surround a rich, yellowish-orange-brown patch. There is one subspecies of Behr’s Hairstreak in Canada. The larval host plant of Behr’s Hairstreak is Antelope-brush, which has special significance in Canada as a symbol used by conservation organizations for the protection of associated plant communities and grasslands within the Okanagan region. First Nations peoples within the region hold butterflies (in general) and the Antelope-brush plant significant in their cultures. Antelope-brush is also significant to the wild game management and livestock grazing industry sectors. (Updated 2017/06/02)
Distribution and Population
The Canadian range of Behr’s Hairstreak is restricted to south-central British Columbia from Penticton in the north to Osoyoos in the south. The butterfly inhabits the low elevation (280 – 760 m above sea level) Antelope-brush plant communities on both the east and west side of the south Okanagan Valley. The species occupies an area of less than 12 km². (Updated 2017/06/02)
Behr’s Hairstreak is primarily recorded from the Antelope-brush/Needle-and-thread Grass plant community. Important habitat attributes include plant communities with Antelope-brush plants greater than 30 years old; sparse tree cover (particularly Ponderosa Pine, which may be required by adults for shelter during inclement weather, daytime temperature extremes, and nighttime resting); and the presence of puddling sites (mud puddles where adult butterflies obtain moisture and salt). (Updated 2017/06/02)
Behr’s Hairstreak has one generation per year; the flight period is from mid-May through late July and peaks in mid-June. Eggs are laid singly on the leaves and branches of Antelope-brush where they overwinter. The eggs hatch in early spring, and the larvae develop from late March to late May and pupate in late spring. The pupae are attached to stems of Antelope-brush and this stage lasts approximately two weeks. Behr’s Hairstreak is not known to migrate. Adults appear to have limited dispersal capabilities and remain within close proximity to Antelope-brush habitat. Average dispersal distances for the butterfly, based on field studies completed in the south Okanagan Valley, are 80 – 120 m depending on spring weather, with a maximum-recorded dispersal of 1.2 km. (Updated 2017/06/02)
Behr’s Hairstreak faces many threats, most of them associated with habitat conversion and associated fragmentation. The main limiting factor for Behr’s Hairstreak is the availability of high quality and older age-class Antelope-brush host plants. Adult butterflies are also limited by nectar plant availability due to short proboscis (tongue) length, which cannot reach the nectar in flowers of plant species that have a deep corolla. (Updated 2017/06/02)
The Behr's Hairstreak is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Behr’s Hairstreak (Satyrium behrii) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
South Okanagan Invertebrates at Risk Recovery Team
Orville Dyer - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
Phone: 250-490-8244 Send Email
Jennifer Heron - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
Phone: 604-222-6759 Fax: 604-660-1849 Send Email
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
14 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Permits and Related Agreements (4 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Related Information (1 record(s) found.)
- Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Document Posting Plans (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Behr's Hairstreak (2013-01-03)This small butterfly is restricted to antelope-brush habitat in British Columbia, a habitat that has decreased considerably in extent in the past century and remains under threat due to land use change (conversion to viticulture, residential and commercial development) and the impact of fire. It rarely disperses much more than 120 m and persists in small, isolated fragments of habitat, which continue to decline in area and quality. Large annual fluctuations in population size, as documented for the largest Canadian population, increase the species’ vulnerability and call into question its long term viability.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2011-2012 (2012-10-05)Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (September 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012) from November 21 to 25, 2011 and from April 29 to May 4, 2012. On February 3, 2012, an Emergency Assessment Subcommittee of COSEWIC also assessed the status of the Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus), the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), and the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis). During the current reporting period COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 67 wildlife species. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2011-2012 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 1 Extirpated: 4 Endangered: 29 Threatened: 10 Special Concern: 15 Data Deficient: 2 Not at Risk: 6 Total: 67 Of the 67 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 49 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment (see Table 1a).