Sunday, October 23, 2011

Great Purple Hairstreak

Great Purple Hairstreak (male), Atlides halesus, Mission Trails Park, San Diego, California. Note that the males have the blue streaks on the outside of the wing while the females do not. These are found from California across the Southern states to Florida and then down into Mexico. They're hard to spot in a tree or bush but well worth the trouble. The wings are typically kept closed when not in flight. However, if you're lucky enough to see them open, they are an irridescent blue. Also, the wings roll out at the rear exposing wing patterns, which, when viewed from the rear look like eyes and antenna, likely to confuse potential predators.

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