Iridescent blue-gray upper wings of darting Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak

Explore Dec 21, 2011 #23

Tiny doesn't begin to describe this delightful gray, orange-eye spotted butterfly! Albert and I have been looking for one for months and today he screamed out..." I think I got a Hairstreak!" At the same moment I yelled, "Over here There are two on this plant!"

This Hairstreak's full wing span is only 9/10 of an inch! Be sure to notice the two tail-like extensions on the wings. And the whimsical pattern of black spots outlined in white and their white hairy wing edges. They fly rapidly, flitting from side to side or in circles which make it difficult for human eyes to follow them!

Wait till you see the brilliant blue of its upper open wings!

Waltheria indica is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family, Malvaceae. Its crinkly leaves are minty-green, thick and juicy. Its yellow flowers are tiny and almost inconspicuous! Keep in mind this is 10 times magnification! The image below gives a better perspective.

Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Strymon istapa modesta
Waltheria, Waltheria indica
Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve, North Miami, FL


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