Gray Hairstreak

Strymon melinus Hubner, 1818

Family: Lycaenidae

Status: widespread common (but rarely numerous) resident

NENHP Ranking: not listed

Range: The Gray Hairstreak inhabits all of North America south of southern Canada, and can be found into northern South America. It occurs statewide in Nebraska.

Broods/Flight Times: Multiple broods, flying from 15 April – 28 October.

Larval Hostplant(s): As befits a butterfly with a wide distribution, larvae of this species will feed on the flowers of a wide variety of plants in over 25 families. However in most of its range (and in our area) the hostplants are primarily legumes. Legume hostplants occuring in Nebraska include members of the following genera: Leadplant and False Indigo (Amorpha), Hog Peanut (Amphicarpa), Milkvetches (Astragalus), Tickclovers (Desmodium), Wild Licorice (Glycyrrhiza), Bush Clover (Lespedeza), Lupines (Lupinus), Alfalfa and Medick (Medicago), Sweet Clovers (Melilotus), Clovers (Trifolium), and Vetches (Vicia).

Habitat: It has been found in riparian areas, prairies, alfalfa fields, and ditches. By utilizing ornamental legumes, the Gray Hairstreak often establishes a presence in urban yards as well.

Found at:

Overwintering: As pupae

Similar Species:


Gray Hairstreak, Kearney, Photo by Jonathan Nikkila
Gray Hairstreak – dorsal
Specimen photo…

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