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Great Purple Hairstreak 
Latin Name: Atilides halesus
 
Genus: Atilides    Species: halesus 
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 Great Purple Hairstreak is impressive in size compared to most members of its family. It typically dwells high up in the canopy close to its mistletoe host. Nonetheless, adults readily come down to feed on available flowers and can be closely observed. Easily identified by its orange abdomen, the butterfly's bold ventral coloration warns predators that it is highly distasteful.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
multiple generations
Egg:
green, laid singly on host leaves
Larva:
green with numerous short hairs
Host Plants:
Mistletoe
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
Mistletoe
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
woodland edges and adjacent open areas
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
1 - 1.7
Centimeters:
2.5 - 4.3
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
dissimilar; female duller with less blue
Compare:
White M Hairstreak is smaller with a narrow white M on the underside of the hindwing near the tails; small white spot along leading edge of the hindwing below.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • male is bright metallic purple-blue with black margins and two hindwing tails; female is dull black with metallic blue scaling limited to wing bases  
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Below:

  • dull brownish black with metallic green and blue spots near tail and red spots at wing bases; underside of abdomen reddish orange; head and thorax have white spots  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
occasional
   

 

     

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


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