Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly – Cupido comyntas
This is a very small butterfly – with wings closed, in profile, about the size of a U.S. dime. Their flight is very quick and erratic, looping and diving, very difficult to follow. But when they land, on partly cloudy days, it’s almost comic to watch them unfailingly close their wings when the sun goes under – and open them when it comes out, over and over again. They usually share space with (and are the same size as) the Spring Azure.
Description: Male is bright silvery-blue above, female is darker, slate gray shot with blue, with orange and black hindwing spots near threadlike tails. Grayish white below with distinct curved rows of gray-black spots; conspicuous orange, black-edged spots above tails. Eggs are laid in flower stems and buds. Caterpillars are dark green with brown and lighter stripes on the side. Legumes are the preferred host plants, especially clover, beans, wild pea and trefoil. Caterpillar overwinters inside bean and pea pods. Three broods in north, more in south.
Habitat: Disturbed areas, fields, meadows, forest glades and fringes..
Range: Southern Canada to Central America, east of Rocky Mountains. Irregular spots in the West at lower elevations only.
- Opler, Paul A. Butterflies and Moths of North America
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects & Spider, Chanticleer Press 1980
- Eric Eaton & Ken Kaufman, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
- Bruce Marlin, CalPhotos ID: 0000 0000 0404 0889 (2004-04-27)