Two Gray Hairstreaks sipping nectar from antelope horn milkweed (Asclepias asperula)
(click image for greater clarity and detail)
One of the most common butterflies on the North American continent, the Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) also ranges into Central and northern South America.
In their book Butterflies of Houston and Southeast Texas, John and Gloria Tveten describe hairstreaks as “fast-flying butterflies that dart about so quickly and erratically that they are extremely difficult to follow.” I’ve certainly been frustrated by that behavior, but this pair, intent on sips of nectar, were more than willing to tolerate my presence.
Found on a milkweed-covered hillside along the west prong of the Medina River, very near The Nature Conservancy’s Love Creek Preserve, these hairstreaks were accompanied by Buckeye, Sulphur, and American Painted Lady butterflies: all enjoying the abundance of late spring flowers, and perfect flying conditions.