Smallest hairstreak

May inkslinger at
Sat Nov 18 19:06:25 EST 2006

Today I was in the garden with the Bidens alba.  It was cool but warm 
enough for sulphurs and a few Gulf Fritillaries, skippers to be out.

My eyes followed what I thought was a day flying moth.  Tiny thing -
I'd say the entire length of the wing was 3/8" and maybe, spread the 
width of a dime.  It was basking and it turned out to be some sort of 
hairstreak.  It had a notch on the hingwing and one little tail was 
missing.  However, that didn't stop it from wiggling the remaining one.  
It was SO tiny.  I am out there many times a day because I have a dog 
that slips through the fence and I have to be with him.  I go out with 
my camera in the sun, so I'm observing all the time. 

I love hairstreaks.  Never get tired of photographing them.  But I've 
never seen one so small.  I went to the house to stalk it more but
it was gone.  I really looked carefully for it.  Then I'm walking back 
to the house, camera on, and I see it land on the trailer in the sun.  
My German Shepherd took it upon himself to walk between it and me and it 
flew into the wilds of my empty corral.  So tomorrow I brave the 
wildflower forest in there to beat the bushes, literally and find my 

It looks like it's been painted with a fine hair like an eyelash with a 
pretty solid looking red line - but the notch took care of any further 
ID.  There was a broken blue line, but very faint and very short above 
the red.

It was gray.  Wings together, I could not get a ventral view, but the 
key, I think, as a total amateur, is the size.  I was very surprised.

No, I didn't kick old Blade.

Bayou George, FL


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