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.