Saturday, September 18, 2010

Red-banded Hairstreak

This is a Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops), one of my favorite species in the hairstreak group. (I also really like Juniper Hairstreaks.) This is a southeastern species; New Jersey is near the northern end of its range in the east. Its larvae feed on wax myrtle, some sumacs, and some oaks. Adults nectar on a variety of flowers.

Hairstreaks cannot compete with the flashy colors of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Red Admirals, or Monarchs. However, they have their own subtle beauty, with small amounts of red, blue, and white blending into the overall gray.