Monday, August 12, 2013

Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) - Orange, CT                                            Photo copyright: Sean Graesser

"Lepping" along at Turkey Hill

At the Turkey Hill Preserve in Orange, CT we are currently conducting field surveys in support of a Conservation and Management plan for the Town Conservation Commission. While out surveying for odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) and lepidoptera (butteflies and moths) I caught something different out of the corner of my eye. I saw a larger hairstreak (butterfly) with a funny suspicion it might not be an everyday CT “lep”. Well, my suspicions were confirmed when a Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) fluttered up and landed in front of me.  I was only able to get the one photo and could not relocate it

The Red-banded Hairstreak is a more southerly ranging species. However, its range is beginning to expand northward in recent years. They can be found in open fields and forest edges. They have a few preferred nectar sources including common yarrow (Achillea millefolium), sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia) and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Hopefully, others will be able to enjoy this amazing species in CT this season.

Sean Graesser
CAS Conservation Technician

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