Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in LYCAENIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameGray Hairstreak by Paul Hart => Raven Rock State Park, 2003-06-02
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameStrymon melinus
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Statewide; undoubtedly occurring in all NC counties.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Very widespread and frequently seen; fairly common to common in the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont; fairly common in the western Piedmont and mountains. More numerous in eastern NC than in western NC.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: At least three broods, but with no true gaps (i.e., periods of local absence) between the flights. The broods occur between mid-March and late October, very rarely into November in the Coastal Plain; the first brood is small, as numbers are not usually seen until late May, and the species often is not common until July.
HabitatHABITAT: Extremely widespread. It typically favors dry, sunny places. It may be found along woodland borders, powerline clearings, old fields, savannas, and vacant lots; it is most numerous in sandy places with scattered vegetation, such as coastal dunes and fields in the Sandhills. It is not likely to be found in shade, but it may occasionally be found in gardens.
See also Habitat Account for General Fields, Gardens, and Ruderal Habitats
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: A wide variety of foodplants, but legumes may be most common. Likewise, the list of nectar plants is so numerous that it could fill one or two pages of text.
CommentsCOMMENTS: This is the most widespread and most frequently encountered hairstreak in NC. One does not often see more than 10 a day, but it can appear almost anywhere one is looking for butterflies. I frequently become excited upon seeing a hairstreak at a distance, as there are so many rare species in NC, only to exclaim "it's just a Gray" upon a closer look.
State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Gray Hairstreak
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Gray Hairstreak - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Scott Hartley
Comment: Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, Moore Co.; 2005-July-23
Gray Hairstreak - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Lori Arent
Comment: 2020-08-20. Wake Co.
Gray Hairstreak - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Mark Shields
Comment: 2020-09-20. Onslow Co.
Gray Hairstreak - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Mark Shields
Comment: 2020-09-20. Onslow Co.
Gray Hairstreak - Click to enlarge