|Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus|
Live butterflies photographed at Corpus Christi, TX
Family Lycaenidae / Subfamily: Theclinae (Hairstreaks)
Butterfly Main | Skippers | Butterfly Index
The Gray Hairstreak, also called the common hairstreak, is the most widely distributed of the hairstreaks. It is absent only from the far north. The caterpillar is commonly known as the "cotton square borer" and is known to damage bean, hops, and cotton crops.
Life Cycle: Eggs are pale green. Larvae are grass-green with white diagonal stripes on the sides. The caterpillars are known to frequent over 50 different host plants; among them are corn (Zea mays), oak (Quercus), cotton (Gossypium), strawberry (Fragaria), mint, legumes and mallows. Chrysalis is brown with black mottling. Flight time: variable, broods more numerous southward. 2 broods in north, 3 or more in south. April-October.
Habitat: Deciduous woods, roadsides, open meadows, fields and disturbed areas, parks and vacant lots.
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Order Lepidoptera, which contains both butterflies and moths, includes at least 125,000 known species including 12,000 in North America. Butterflies are revered for their brightly colored wings and pleasing association with fair weather and flowers.