This is the time of year we start “seeing things” – especially Hickory Hairstreaks. Some Banded Hairstreaks, particularly females, superficially exhibit all of the field marks attributed to Hickory Hairstreak. Here’s an example:
And here’s what a real Hickory Hairstreak looks like:
We could argue about the difference in ground color, but that’s an unreliable indicator because the apparent ground color is profoundly affected by lighting conditions. And how far the blue spot extends inward is also a potential point of debate.
Now look at the orange spot. Note that it is red-orange in Banded Hairstreak and yellow-orange in Hickory Hairstreak. That always works. [Unless, of course, you have a worn individual. Then the beat goes on…]