Great Purple Hairstreak

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a nature nerd is finding a species I have never seen before. These days, here in Tallahassee, that doesn’t happen to me very often at least when I’m out looking for the taxa I enjoy seeing the most; birds, butterflies and reptiles. Well it happened yesterday, kind of! When I first came to Tallahassee in 2004 I got a very brief look at a butterfly I was unfamiliar with. I didn’t get a picture and I wasn’t 100% sure after looking in my Butterflies Through Binoculars field guide. I was at Tom Brown Park yesterday and saw the same butterfly and this time I was 100% sure that I’d clapped eyes on a Great Purple Hairstreak! Coincidentally my daughter saw one in our front garden a few days ago. She described it perfectly. “It was moving its hind wings back and forth and had a bright purple flash!” Side note: go butterflying with my daughter more often! Anyway, here’s a picture of the one I spotted yesterday at Tom Brown Park. Beautiful isn’t it? My 58th Florida butterfly species! 22 more species and I’ll qualify for my Wings Over Florida Question Mark certificate. WooHoo!


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