Posts Tagged ‘Gray Hairstreak’

Some of our smallest butterflies are among our prettiest, like this tiny Banded Hairstreak butterfly (Satyrium calanus) that I spotted on Tuesday at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge. I always check out a patch of wildflowers in one corner of this small refuge and once again it paid dividends.

I was able to photograph this butterfly as it nectared on one of the many black-eyed susans that are now in bloom. Actually I am not entirely certain if these flowers are black-eyed susans, but they are the same shape and color and may be part of the larger rudbeckia flower family.

UPDATE: A friend of mine on Facebook who is more experienced than I am with butterflies tells me that this is probably a Gray Hairstreak butterfly (Strymon melinus), not a Banded Hairstreak. The difference is so subtle that I am not sure I can see it and certainly cannot explain it. At least the beauty is undeniable.

Banded Hairstreak

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.


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I am delighted to see that butterflies are finally appearing as we move deeper into spring, like this tiny Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) that I spotted this past Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Since I was mostly looking for birds, I had my trusty Tamron 150-600mm lens on my camera. Although this lens is not optimal for such a small subject, it did a pretty good job in capturing the delightful details of this little butterfly, like the little “tails” at the bottom of the wings and the patches of orange on the wings themselves.

The same day I also saw a larger orange butterfly that I think was a Question Mark butterfly. If my photos are clear enough, I’ll probably post them soon. Stay tuned for coming attractions.

Gray Hairstreak

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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