Gray Hairstreak Butterfly (Strymon melinus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly.
Updated: 1/18/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The small Gray Hairstreak Butterfly can be found all over the continent, flitting and flying in dizzying patterns.
Adult Gray Hairstreak Butterflies can be seen in open fields, parks, woods and gardens in every state and province. When resting, they bask in the sun with their wings stretched open, a behavior uncharacteristic in Hairstreaks. When in flight, they are fast, using an array of flight maneuvers that make it difficult visually track. This is probably helpful in avoiding an airborne attack.
The caterpillar feeds on the flowers of legumes and member of the hibiscus plant family. This makes it an annoying pest to bean farmers. It can adapt its coloring (to a certain degree) to camouflage itself on the plant it is feeding on. Two to three generations are born in a year which likely aids in their prevalance. They are most active from late spring to early autumn.