Status:  common resident

Flights:  2+, Feb-Nov

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  widespread, lowlands to mid-elevations; Soberanes Creek, Carmel Valley, Monterey peninsula, Bradley area roadsides, etc.

Habitats:  wide variety - open, sunny

Host plants: legumes, mallows, et al

Adult foodflower nectar: dogbane, milkweed, mint, clovers

Conservation: none needed


  1.   aka “common hairstreak”, most widespread hairstreak in U.S., sea level to 10,000’

  2.   scarce in spring, common in fall

  3.   seldom occurs in dense local aggregations as do many hairstreaks

  4.   both sexes dorsal bask

  5.   flight rapid and jerky, with frequent nectar visits

  6.   rubs HW together when perched

  7.   hilltops

  8.   caterpillars may cause damage to bean and cotton crops

  9.   male has orange abdomen, female gray; spring/fall form is darker gray below than summer form (e. U.S. only?)


Gray hairstreak Strymon melinus

Life history facts

egg: laid singly on flowers of host plant

larva: young feed on flowers and fruit; older may eat leaves

pupa: hibernate

adult:  males perch all afternoon on small trees or shrubs, waiting for receptive females; many territorial dogfights; mating after dusk

nectaring, indians rd