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Gray Hairstreak 
Latin Name: Strymon melinus
 
Genus: Strymon    Species: melinus 
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:
Widespread and abundant, the Gray Hairstreak is one of the most commonly encountered hairstreaks in Florida. It is extremely fond of flowers and a frequent garden visitor. The small hairlike tails on the hindwing resemble antennae and help deflect the attack of would-be predators away from the insect's vulnerable body. This charade, employed by many members of the family, is enhanced by the bright orange eyespots and converging lines on the wings below that draw attention to the unique feature.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
multiple generations
Egg:
ight green, laid singly on flower buds or flowers of host
Larva:
highly variable; bright green with lateral cream stripes to pinkish red
Host Plants:
wide variety of plants including Partridge Pea, beggarweeds, milk peas, White Clover and Sida
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
wide variety of plants including Partridge Pea, beggarweeds, milk peas, White Clover and Sida
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
open, disturbed sites including roadsides, fallow agricultural land, old fields and gardens
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
1 - 1.5
Centimeters:
2.5 - 3.8
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
similar; female larger with broader wings
Compare:
White M Hairstreak has orange ventral hindwing spot without black pupil and distinct zigzag white line.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • slate gray with distinct reddish orange-capped black hindwing spot above tail  
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Below:

  • light gray with black-and-white line across both wings (often with some orange); hindwing has reddish orange-capped black spot and blue scaling above tail  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
common
   

 

     

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


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