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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Strymon melinus
     Gray Hairstreak

male upperside
male underside
female upperside
female underside

Size: wingspread .8-1 in.
Recognition: Dark gray to gray with orange spot near tail; underside is lighter gray with 2 orange spots and vertical orange line in HW, also dark line in mid-FW; has one long, and one very short tail.
Flight period: Adults are active all year, or February to November.
Hostplants: The larvae of the Gray Hairstreak commonly feed on pea (Fabaceae) and mallow (Malvaceae) family plants, but will use a variety of other plants as well.
Habitat: This Hairstreak is an avid flower visitor and is found in various open, sunny habitats with flowers and plants. They do not usually fly in desert areas.
Distribution: They are widespread throughout most of the U.S., from southern Canada down to South America. In Santa Barbara County they are found on Santa Cruz Island and the mainland.

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