Strymon melinus, Gray Hairstreak
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Freshly emerged adult
Description: 11-17 mm. This species has a light gray ventral side with two sets of tails on the hind wing. The ventral wings have two series of white and orange dots that run the length of the wings with a bright orange spot near the tails with a black center that mimics the head end of the butterfly. Often times, the rear end of the wings has been eaten due to a predators mistake. Dorsal side is dark gray.
Habitat and Distribution: This species is widespread and common throughout most of the Eastern United states and south throughout Central and South America. It has been found in most of the Keys and can be found in weedy fields, on road sides and in gardens.
Host Plant: Sida and Malvastrum species
Natural History: This species is locally abundant and can be found throughout the year. We have reared them easily by placing a female in a cup with some Sida flowers for egg laying and then rearing the larvae on green beans.
Final instar larva