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White M Hairstreak

White M Hairstreak
Photo Information
Copyright: John Reasbeck (ubc64) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 21 N: 208] (789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-12
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D300
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Butterflies [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-10-14 16:31
Viewed: 3787
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I’ve been away from TrekNature for a couple of weeks. That doesn’t mean that I stopped taking pictures however! I was just doing other things.

Last Sunday, I went to the Holdridge Nursery in Ledyard, CT. They had promised to release about 100 Monarch butterflies, and it seemed like a good photo opportunity. I did take a number of shots of Monarchs. But, another, much smaller butterfly intrigued me. It never opened its wings while I followed it around some yellow flowers (dahlias, perhaps). I noticed some odd features, like it seemed to be dragging something. In fact, this tiny 1” butterfly, which I later identified as the quite uncommon White M Hairstreak or Parrhasius m-album, has two little tails. Those tails, and a false eye, which can’t be seen well in my photo, could confuse a predator into thinking that the butterfly’s head is at its back (see http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/bfly/white_m_hairstreak.htm). The butterfly was moving around quite rapidly, but I managed to get a couple of reasonable shots. As I learned later, if it had opened its wings, I would have seen an iridescent blue.

Where did its name come from? The “White M” refers to a very distinctive “M” (or “W”, depending on how you’re looking at it), displayed in white and black on the bottom of the wing, by the red dot. “Hairstreak” comes from the thin white lines or streaks that mark the wings.

Some additional URLs that provide more information about these distinctive, skipper-sized butterflies are as follows:




techranger, tuslaw, livius, lovenature has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To tuslaw: Thanks!ubc64 1 10-19 18:55
To techranger: Thanks!ubc64 1 10-19 18:46
To livius: Thanks!ubc64 1 10-19 18:40
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John and welcome back. I too may be away off and on with the coming holiday seasons... lots to do at home and at church. :)

This is a great photo of the butterfly but it is almost upstaged by the glorius flowers upon which it was suping.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-10-14 21:04]
  • [+]

Very nice macro of this beautiful little butterfly John,
I love the detail and the colors are great!! I've never seen one with this type of tail before. Well done!!

Hi John
the vivid colors and the contrast of the butterfly on the yellow flowers are carefully portraits. Great focusing and fine details for a beautiful subject.

Hi John
The colour of these yellow dahlias are brilliant. I can see why this butterfly would be attracted. A wonderful close up of this White Hairstreak. I've saw a Morning Cloak Butterfly already this year.
TFS Janice

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