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Banded Hairstreak Butterfly

March 31, 2014
A profile image of a banded hairstreak butterfly

Banded Hairstreak

Tiny Beauty

One of the smaller garden creatures I love to photograph each summer is the petite Banded Hairstreak butterfly. Featuring a wingspan of only 1 – 1 1/4 inches, these tiny beauties continually flit from flower to flower at a rather hyper pace. Needless to say, this non-stop motion can present quite a challenge when photographing them — particularly up close with a macro lens. So, if you like a challenge, the Banded Hairstreak can certainly provide you with one.

A Bit About Them

The Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus) is part of the family Lycaenidae. It typically makes its appearance here in the northeast from June – August. My yarrow plants seem to be a favorite snack for them. I love shooting their profiles. Doing so not only allows me to capture the colorful beauty of their wing steaks, it also allows me to capture their whimsical gold-tipped striped antennae.

There’s something about their antennae that always makes me smile. The pattern reminds me of a child’s pair of socks or something a character in a Dr. Seuss book might wear. It’s funny where your imagination can take you when out shooting.

A Keen Eye & Patience

So this summer, keep an eye out for these tiny winged beauties. Yes, they are quick. However, patience does pay off.

~ Liz Mackney

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