Gray Hairstreak

Subject: Small black butterfly with orange eyespots
Location: Nebraska
September 14, 2016 6:01 am
I am from south-central Nebraska and when I went out to put birdseed in the feeder this morning, I saw this little butterfly resting on my sun coleus. I have never seen one like it before and was unable to locate one in your archives. It has an approximately 1 1/4″ wingspan. I’m sorry that the focus is a bit lacking but I still haven’t mastered this camera. I hope that there is enough detail for you to be able to work your magic! Thanks in advance!
Signature: Huskerkim

Gray Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak

Dear Huskerkim,
Images of Gray Hairstreaks,
Strymon melinus, are archived on our site under the Gossamer Wings Butterflies category.  According to BugGuide:  “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, which receive a sugary solution from the dorsal nectary organ … . Chrysalids hibernate.”  We believe the dark coloration on your individual indicates it is a male, perhaps perching “all afternoon on small trees and shrubs to seek receptive females.”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for your reply.  We will keep an eye out for such females!  Also, I have attached a better photo that I took later with my phone.
Thanks again!

Gray Hairstreak
Gray Hairstreak

Thanks for the much sharper image Kim.  Obviously he is waiting patiently for that female.

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