Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus

I found this caterpillar, and this is what happened.   It was unknown (to me) so I decided to try to rear it.  Found some in books like it, and they were Hairstreaks, so I figured it was probably some kind of Hairstreak, but I’d never seen any of the possible ones in my yard.  It was on a Giant Hibiscus flower – a pink one – and was eating only the developing seeds.  Then I put it on a red flower, and it seemed fine.

Found the caterpillar on 7/27/2012


8/1/2012   The cat stopped eating and turned brown.


8/3/2012   The pupa, with the final shed skin next to it.


8/12/2012  The pupa, the night before it eclosed (emerged).


8/13/2012  The beautiful Gray Hairstreak!   The first one I’ve seen in my yard in 27 years!


Betsy Higgins
Florence, Massachusetts

edited by Marcie O’Connor