Raising Butterflies: Grey Hairstreak Eggs

I paused to take a photo of a Grey Hairstreak when it fluttered in. They’re not terribly rare, but they’re erratic fliers and hard to get a picture of. I call them “seizure butterflies”, because when they’re flying they look like they’re having a seizure.

She didn’t look terribly good. She wasn’t battered, like a lot of older butterflies, but she was very sluggish – especially compared to how skittish these butterflies normally are. She’d slowly crawl from one flower to another, occasionally sipping at one. Imagine my surprise when I spotted her curling her abdomen as if to oviposit. She wound up drunkenly dragging her abdomen across leaves before giving up, more often than not. But she did manage to lay two eggs that I could spot.

Here’s one, tucked away in the tender new leaves.

Here’s the other, a tiny speck of green in a flower cup.

A male skipper chased her off soon afterward, so no more eggs. Still, hoping to rear the two I have.

Here is the plant she was laying on. I have no idea what it is. Grey Hairstreak caterpillars will apparently host on all sorts of different plants. I placed them in a plastic cup with a paper towel over the top, held on with a rubber band. We’ll see how long it takes them to hatch.

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