Gray Hairstreak

The Gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus) is one of the most common lycaenids in North America.  Its larvae feed on the fruits and flowers of a variety of host plants including several species mallows, members of the pea family, buckwheats, clovers, and many other plants. 

Sometimes, larvae are not too difficult to find in the flowers of these host plants when they are tended by ants.  In other words, look for congregations of ants when looking for caterpillars.  (This video teaches this general principle.)

The following slide show demonstrates techniques for finding and caring for gray hairstreaks in Northern Utah that feed on buckwheat.  It can be applied to other parts of the Western U.S. where Eriogonum racemosum and possibly other species of buckwheat support this butterfly in the late summer and fall.