What’s In My Backyard?

Meet the Neighbors: Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

For the introduction to this series, see here.

Today we meet a Gray Hairstreak Butterfly. This is one of the most common butterflies in North America. It lives all over the US as well as Central America and parts of South America. The butterfly has a place on the rear edge of its wings that looks like a head complete with spots that look like eyes and two tails that look like antennae. If you watch one as it sits on flowers, you may notice that it gently wiggles these pretend antennae. If a predator attempts to grab this “head”, the butterfly can pull free and escape. Butterflies can lose a piece off their wing and go on living. The caterpillars of this species eat mallow and clover among other plants. So if you want to have these butterflies in your yard, don’t pull up all the weeds.

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