The guidebooks show the Soapberry Hairstreak’s range to extend almost everywhere in Texas with the exception of the far eastern and southern parts of the state. Still, I have only encountered this butterfly once in all my years of looking for butterflies. For one week in May of 2016, I saw several across the various parks of San Angelo, Texas.
Apparently, they stay close to their food plant, the soapberry tree (sapindus saponaria) which may explain why I have seen so few of them. Its season is also a short one, with a single brood flying April to June.
The Soapberry stands out from other hairstreaks because of the strong white cell-end bars on both the fore and hindwing. The VW mark on the hindwing is also unique to this species.
It’s a handsome butterfly. I hope to see it again someday.