Gray Hairstreak and Gulf Fritillary

Early in the morning not too many butterflies are out, but later in the day Tiger Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, Red-spotted Purple, Sleepy Orange, Cloudless Sulphur, and Buckeye may be around, as cicadas and grasshoppers sing. One of my favorite butterflies right now is the brilliant, burning orange Gulf Fritillary, with big silver spots on the under-wings that glitter as it flies.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds zoom constantly around the feeder, and a Blue-tailed Skink slithers across the deck. A tiny green anole makes its way down a brick wall near the ferns.

This afternoon I found a very pretty small Gray Hairstreak – a tiny butterfly you have to look very closely to see well – with Fiery Skippers in lantana blooms. The skippers aren’t as quite colorful as their name sounds, mostly a dull orange. But the Hairstreak is a small jewel, a delicate, soft-gray color with two orange spots, bordered in dark spots, low on the under-side of the hind wings; a wavy orange band across the wings near the edge, and long thread-like “tails” that probe the air like antennae.

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