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  • Gray Hairstreak Butterfly - (Strymon melinus)

    Gray Hairstreak Butterfly - (Strymon melinus)

    The small Gray Hairstreak Butterfly can be found all over the continent, flitting and flying in dizzying patterns.

    Picture of Gray Hairstreak Butterfly
    Staff Writer (1/18/2014): 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.

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    Details of the:
    Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Gray Hairstreak Butterfly
    Scientific Name: Strymon melinus
    Other Names: Common Hairstreak Butterfly

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Lycaenidae
           Genus: Strymon
            Species: melinus

    Size (Adult, Length): 25mm to 32mm (0.98in to 1.26in)

    Identifying Colors: gray; black; orange; white; blue

    Additional Descriptors: flying, harmful

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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