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White M Hairstreak 
Latin Name: Parrhasius m-album
 
Genus: Parrhasius    Species: m-album 
Family
Latin Name: Lycaenidae
Common Name: Gossamer Wings
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Family Members
 
SubFamily
Latin Name: Theclinae
Common Name: Hairstreaks
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SubFamily Members

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Comments:
The White M Hairstreak is named for the narrow white band on the underside of the hindwing that forms the letter M. The true beauty of this diminutive species can be seen mainly during flight, when the bright iridescent blue scaling of the upper wing surfaces flashes in the sunlight. Adults readily explore open areas adjacent to their habitat for available flowers. Adults have a quick, erratic flight and can be difficult to follow.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
multiple generations
Egg:
whitish, laid singly on twigs or buds of host
Larva:
variable, dark green to mauve
Host Plants:
various oaks including Live Oak
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
various oaks including Live Oak
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
forest edges, oak hammocks, pine-oak scrub and adjacent open areas
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
.9 - 1.3
Centimeters:
2.3 - 3.3
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
dissimilar; female duller with less blue
Compare:
Great Purple Hairstreak is larger and lacks white M and red spot on ventral hindwing. Southern Hairstreak has longer tails and a more extensive orange submarginal band.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • male is bright iridescent blue with broad, black margins and two hindwing tails; female is dull black with blue scaling limited to wing bases  
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Below:

  • brownish gray; hindwing has a single red eyespot above tail, white spot along leading margin, and a narrow white line forming a distinct M in middle of wing  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
occasional to common
   

 

     

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Map Legend: Resident (green) | Stray (Red)


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