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Keep your eyes peeled for Hessel's Hairstreak

Have you seen a Hessel's Hairstreak in Wilbraham lately, like say, in the last 50 years? No, we're not talking about sunbleached hair. We're talking about butterflies! The Hessel's Hairstreak.
Not since 1960 has there been a documented sighting in Wilbraham of this beautiful butterfly. It was last seen near Wilbraham's Great White Cedar Conservation area. The Hessel's Hairstreak butterfly only lives in Atlantic White Cedar habitats. Wilbraham's White Cedar Conservation area is the largest habitat of its kind this far north and inland along the entire eastern seaboard of the United States; however, it's one most distinctive animal has not been seen in these parts for half a century. Naturalists figure there still may be some of these butterflies here in Wilbraham's most impressive natural habitat.
So, if you live in Wilbraham anywhere near Main Street, or Stony Hill Road, or Boston Road, or Springfield Road, keep your eyes peeled in May and June for a Hessel's Hairstreak. They fly up to half a mile from the White Cedars during their short flying lifetime. You may make national naturalist news if you see one.
For details about rare sightings in Wilbraham, go to www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/nhesp/species_info/mesa_list/rare_occurrences.htm. For details about the Hessel's Hairstreak butterfly, go to www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/nhesp/species_info/nhfacts/callophrys_hesseli.pdf.
Rob Anderson
Wilbraham


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