A reddish-orange line of color on a dull gray-brown wing lent itself nicely to finding a common name for the Red-Banded Hairstreak.
Red-Banded Hairstreaks are fast in flight and tend to stay lower to the ground than other butterflies. When resting with wings up, the bright swish of red-orange on their wings is highlighted by the same coloring on the edge of the wing by the head. A splash of bright blue near the rear of the butterfly can also catch your eye.
Males perch on branches, looking for potential mates and guarding their territory from encroachment by other insects. Females lay fertilized eggs on the leaf litter of host plants. Caterpillars eat the dead and fallen leaves off of plants like sumac, oak, and wax myrtle as well as other detritus on the forest floor. They look more like brown slugs than typical, tubular caterpillars. Two to four generations a year are common across its range. Adults drink nectar from milkweed, dogbane, yarrow and sumac blossoms.
They can be found in coastal areas, sandy forests, woodland edges and fields.
Scientific Name: Calycopis cecrops
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 24mm to 35mm (0.94in to 1.37in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.