Hairstreaks, at least the few I've found so far, are little fast
butterflies with similar features. You have to really know your
butterflies to be able to tell them apart on the fly. Tim Adams helped
me identify my first Gray Hairstreaks. Thanks Tim!
Gray Hairstreaks have cute thread-like tails that wriggle like fish bait
on the line. Those tails appear to work like fish bait too.
The small hairstreak butterfly above is missing it's tails; they're just
nubs now. The gray hairstreak perched on the
Spanish Needles Plant
the right has a bite missing out of it's wing just below the longer
Here's a closer look at the bitten butterfly wing:
A little lower, and
this butterfly would have been dinner.
Perhaps those little tails distracted it's predator just enough to save
This gray hairstreak butterfly has all of it's tails intact, waving
prettily in the air.
You can look at a smaller, but similar hairstreak here:
Red-banded or Gray Hairstreak