Monday, July 25, 2011

Red-banded Hairstreak

I found this Red-banded Hairstreak sipping nectar at one of the coneflowers in the backyard yesterday. It is at least the third year that this species has appeared in the yard. They show up sometime in July and appear in ones and twos for the rest of the summer. Red-banded Hairstreak have undergone a steady northward range expansion. Half a century ago, this species was rare in New Jersey; according to Gochfeld and Burger's Butterflies of New Jersey, there was only one record before 1940 and scattered records after that. However, in the last few decades, it has invaded the state and become rather common.