Blues

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Gossamer-winged Butterflies (family Lycaenidae)


Large worldwide group of small butterflies. Many with "eyespots" on hindwings below and "tails" on hindwings that create a false “head: at the rear diverting attackers from the actual head. Often sit with wings closed and rub hindwings back and forth alternately. Sexes differ in coloration. Undersides usually differ from upper sides. Caterpillars are slug-shaped and those of some species are tended by ants that feed on sweet liquids secreted by the larvae.

Blues (subfamily Polyommatinae)

Very small butterflies, mostly blue above, although females of many are browner. Often bask with wings open. May rub their hindwings together when perched. Tend to fly slowly, with up-and-down fluttering. Males often gather in "puddle parties" around wet soil.

Eastern Tailed Blue (Everes comyntas) - male - 2005

Eastern Tailed Blue

Everes comyntas

Very common in the east, visiting flowers in gardens, parks, and meadows. Flies spring to fall. Only tailed blue in the east.

Larval foodplant: Flowers and seeds of many legumes.

Eastern Tailed Blue (Everes comyntas) - male 2006

Summer Azure (Celastrina ladon neglecta) 2006

Summer Azure

Celastrina ladon neglecta

Widespread in the east, flying in summer. Very pale below.

Larval foodplant: Flowering parts of many plants.