gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Lycaenidae)
SUBFAMILY: Hairstreaks (Theclinae)
IDENTIFICATION: One tail on hindwing. Upperside blue-gray with large
red spot near tail. Underside of spring/fall form is dark gray, summer
form is paler gray. Relatively straight postmedian line is white, bordered
with orange on the inside edge.
LIFE HISTORY: 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.
FLIGHT: Two flights from May-September in the north, three-four flights
from February-November in the south.
WING SPAN: 7/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.2 - 3.5 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Flowers and fruits from an almost endless variety
of plants; most often from pea (Fabaceae) and mallow (Malvaceae)
families including beans (Phaseolus), clovers (Trifolium), cotton
(Gossypium), and mallow (Malva).
ADULT FOOD: Nectar from many flower species including dogbane,
milkweed, mint, winter cress, goldenrod, tick trefoil, and white sweet
HABITAT: Open, nonforested sites; common in disturbed, weedy areas.
RANGE: Throughout continental United States from southern Canada
south to Mexico; southward to Venezuela. Comments: The most
widespread hairstreak in North America.
CONSERVATION: Not usually required.
NATURESERVE GLOBAL STATUS: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally,
though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the
MANAGEMENT NEEDS: Caterpillars may cause economic damage to
bean and cotton crops.
SKY MEADOWS OCCURRENCE:
Note: Due to seasonal conditions in this region, occurrence may vary from
year to year. The designation of occurrence may range over two or more
categories and may vary even during a single season.
Key to Checklist
A Abundant: Easy to see very large numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
C Common: Usually each to see good numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
U Uncommon: Sometimes found in appropriate habitat and proper time of year,
usually in low numbers.
O Occasional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times a year, usually
in low numbers.
R Rare: Small chance of being found, even in appropriate habitat at proper time of
year. There are few individuals and may not be present every year.
X Extirpated: Formerly present, no longer occurs in Sky Meadows Park.
Crooked Run Valley