A Texan Strymon Melinus Franki Butterfly

Dorsal view of Gray Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

I’ve stared at this one many times, and was stumped. It sure looks like a Gray Hairstreak female: Orange antennae tips, gray abdomen, wings held open, tails, orange on head, that orange spot with the black spot at its outer margin, but . . . those blue spots along the outer margins of the hindwings??

I sought feedback from Mike Rickard for the ID of another Lower Rio Grande Valley butterfly (The Cassius Blue) and along the way, he suggested I visit the website, Welcome To Butterflies Of AmericaI did, and Mike was right, that website is a big help when you want to ID a butterfly.

This one here is typical of Gray Hairstreaks in Texas, what with those blue spots winking at you. So this is of the Strymon Melinus Franki subspecies, and I love those blues, I do.