Subject: Is this Gray Hairstreak laying eggs?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
May 14, 2015 6:17 pm
I was filming this little butterfly this afternoon, trying to catch the fascinating forward-and-backwards wing action, when I noticed that it seemed to be laying eggs. Is it another Gray Hairstreak? You kindly identified one for me several years ago. This rather worn and battered butterfly stayed on this native plant, Malvaviscus drummondii, for a long time.
We had a brief dry spell between rain showers, and it’s raining again now, temperature in the low eighties.
Thank you so much!
We agree with your evaluation that your images are documenting the process of a female Gray Hairstreak laying eggs. Thanks so much for providing the name of the plant from the family Malvaceae, and according to BugGuide, the caterpillars feed upon: “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).” The MrsRoadrunner Photography site has similar oviposition images. Raising Butterflies has some great information on Gray Hairstreaks, and many images of the caterpillars, but alas, no images of oviposition or of the eggs.