August 1, 2010

Gray Hairstreak

A gray hairstreak sipping from a coneflower. Lovely. I like how the butterfly's orange and black patches match the flower's seeds and crevices.

The name "hairstreak" comes from the hairlike extensions on the butterfly's tail. These along with its rear eyespots are meant to trick birds who are looking for a meal into taking their first bite from the rear. If the butterfly is lucky, the disguise will buy him a few milliseconds to escape. (By the way, I'm no bug expert; I read all of these facts in a children's book about butterflies. Thanks Google books.)


  1. I just saw one of these this morning, on a rosey buckwheat bloom. I didn't know what it was either, until Google helped me ID it. Your photograph is lovely!

  2. What a great shot! Thanks for the info!