possibly a skipper
August 15, 2009
Hello, this was on a eupatorium perfoliatium. I could probably look through books and find it but am being lazy. If you don’t have time I will understand.
thank you, Louise
Orefield, PA 18069 USA
Your butterfly is a Gray Hairstreak, Strymon melinus. According to BugGuide: “Food Caterpillar hosts: Flowers and fruits from an almost endless variety of (usually) herbaceous plants; most often from pea (Fabaceae) and mallow (Malvaceae) families including beans (Phaseolus), clovers (Trifolium), cotton (Gossypium), and mallow (Malva).
Adult food: Nectar from many flower species including dogbane, milkweed, mint, winter cress, goldenrod, tick trefoil, and white sweet clover.
Life Cycle Males perch all afternoon on small trees and shrubs to seek receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on flowers of host plant. Young caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits; older ones may eat leaves. Caterpillars are sometimes attended by ants–they receive a sugary solution from the dorsal nectary organ (Idaho Museum of Natural History, BugGuide photos). Chrysalids hibernate.
RemarksThe most widespread hairstreak in North America.“