Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Strymon melinus

Grey Hairstreak




The Grey Hairstreak has a wide North American distribution and is sometimes described as a serious pest on various crops, including beans, and of having a wide variety of foodplants. Here on southern Vancouver Island, it is uncommon but not rare, and it is double-brooded, the two broods having rather specific food preferences. Caterpillars of the first brood are deep claret-coloured and feed on the flowers of Gaultheria shallon; those of the second brood, which are whitish, feed in late summer on the flowers of Anaphalis margaritacea. The caterpillars and the pupae are quite bristly.

Grey is a colour often regarded by humans as dull and uninteresting. It takes a butterfly to demonstrate what can be done with this colour and how beautiful it can be.

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