So I noted yesterday that we had a pale gray hairstreak on the crucita flowers on our foray to Hugh Ramsey Nature Park near Harlingen during the Texas Butterfly Festival. Flurries of emails and texts and forwarded pictures overnight yielded the decision: First US record of the Mexican butterfly Shadowed Hairstreak.
Lots of folks went back for it today but dipped on it. Luckily our little group got plenty of photo documentation–most of which was much better than mine! Note the Gray Hairstreak-like general impression and zombie-black eyes:
Here’s tour leader Mike Rickard’s note to one of the Texas lep listservs about the finding:
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2015 08:19:25 -0600
From: Mike Rickard <mikearickard@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: New Hairstreak Record For The US
While leading a Texas Butterfly Festival field trip in Harlingen’s Hugh
Ramsey Park yesterday (11/01/15), I photographed a hairstreak I tentatively
identified as a Shadowed Hairstreak (Michaelus ira). It was visiting
Crucita blossoms on the Indigo Trail, and observed by all trip
participants. This is the first record of this species for the US. ID has
been confirmed by Andy Warren of the McGuire Center.