Great Purple Hairstreak – Atlides halesus

Great Purple Hairstreak – Atlides halesus

Great Purple Hairstreak butterflies are found in the lower half of the United States.

Mistletoe is the only host plant for these butterflies. Mistletoe is a parasite plant, growing in other trees.

The top side of their wings boast a brilliant metallic blue. If the butterfly is a male, more blue covers the wings.

Eggs are laid singly on mistletoe. After hatching, the green caterpillar eats mistletoe. It blends in well with the leaves of its host plant. On the top of its thorax, near the head, is a diamond shaped mark.

Caterpillars pupate into tiny chrysalises.

Adults emerge and dry their wings. The following day they begin eating, often drinking from plants that produce white flowers.