The Gray Hairstreak is one of the most widely dispersed butterflies in North America. It is light gray with black and white lines across both wings. The hindwing has an orange-capped black spot and blue scaling above the tails. The upper surfaces are gray in males and blue-gray in females with an orange-capped black spot above the tail. The top of the head and tip of the antennae are orange. The male abdomen is orange, and the female abdomen is blue-gray. The females tend to be larger.


Gray Hairstreak” by Renee Grayson, licensed under (CC BY 2.0)


Gray Hairstreak Facts

Butterfly Family: Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Theclinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 7/8 – 1 3/8 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Open, nonforested sites; common in disturbed, and weedy areas


Gray Hairstreak Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Various plants in the Fabaceae family
  • Mallows

Nectar Plants:

  • Nectar from various flowers
    • Dogbane
    • Milkweeds
    • Mint
    • Winter Cress
    • Goldenrod
    • White Sweet Clover
    • Mistflower
    • Verbena
    • Blazing Star
    • Catmint
    • Ironweed
    • Heliotrope
    • Sweet Pepperbush
    • Basil
    • Oregano
    • Thyme
    • Lobelia
    • Chrysanthemum