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Monday, August 18, 2014

Almost

Well, I was a little hesitant to post these photos.  They're not the best.  But it's my first Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) on the Bodega Head peninsula, and I haven't posted a butterfly picture in a whileso here we go!  (If I get better images in the future, I'll add them, too.)

You know how it is sometimes this butterfly was always at an odd angle, or some of its features were hidden behind flowers, or the light was too bright or too dark.

In the picture below, almost the entire butterfly is visible, but not quite.  At least you can see its striped antennae with black-and-orange tips.


In the next photo, once again the butterfly is almost out in the open, except for one flower.  But this is a fairly decent view of the pattern on the underwings, which is important for identifying hairstreaks.


Next, the butterfly is almost in a good position.  But the "tails" are quite visible at the trailing edge of the hindwings these thread-like "tails" or "streaks" are the origin of the name "hairstreak."


And yes, in the following image the butterfly is almost front-and-center.  But the open wing position still gives you a feel for the dark blue-gray color of the upperwings.


So there you have it.  Marginal shots of a Gray Hairstreak.  A good record for the village of Salmon Creek, though.  Photographed on 16 August 2014.  

And to end this post, here's a truly marginal shot:


The is the hind margin of the Gray Hairstreak as it walked away.  I liked how you could see the small rounded "flares" of the hindwing and how they might almost appear to be eyes when viewed by another animal.

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