Double Take August 28, 2007
Ah, the butterflies were so beautiful, but here is a look at another Asteraceae as well!
One of our more common late summer flowers, Wingstem, Verbesina alternifolia is a no-brainer to ID. Look closely at the stems... look, they are winged! Oh, yeah, I wish every Asteraceae was this easy. So we have this great sunflower looking plant with the winged stems. You got it now! Wingstem.
And the butterfly? Almost as easy: Gray Hairstreak. It is a Hairstreak. It is gray. This must be logic day on the botany/butterfly blog!
But this photo shows a special feature of these Hairstreaks. Check out that hind-wing. See the little "hairs"? Most of this family has special adaptations that are constantly twitched and crossed provocatively. Maybe they are suggestive of antennea to a predator... hey, maybe they are just suggestive! ;) Either way- Hairstreaks have 'em. Birds want 'em. One more protective adaptation; we humans can only guess at the reasoning behind them. But isn't it fun? No wonder I love the butterflies!