Eastern tailed-blue

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Eastern tailed-blue
Eastern Tailed-blue.jpg
Male
Eastern Tailed-blue, female, FWG.jpg
Female
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Genus: Cupido
Species: C. comyntas
Binomial name
Cupido comyntas
(Godart, [1824])
Synonyms

Polyommatus comyntas
Everes comyntas
Lycaena comyntas[1]

Ventral view

The eastern tailed-blue or eastern tailed blue (Cupido comyntas), also known as Everes comyntas,[2] is a common butterfly of eastern North America. It is a medium-sized butterfly that is distinguished from other blues in its range by the small thin tail.[3]

Description[edit]

Males are generally blue on the upperside of their wings while females are lighter blue to brown or charcoal in coloring, but there are also varieties of purple and pink found in both sexes.[4] The underside coloration ranges from bluish white to tan. There are two or three (outermost one often faint) black to orange chevron-shaped spots on the rear of the hindwings and a trailing tail off the innermost of the spots. The butterfly is 21 to 29 mm (0.83 to 1.14 in) wide with wings outstretched and slightly shorter in length.[5]

Female

Eastern tailed-blues feed on various legumes and are known to secrete a substance which is favored by some ant species. The ant in turn protects the larva of the butterfly from other predators.

Range[edit]

The butterfly is common across eastern North America, and is found as far south as Central America. The Great Plains form a habitat boundary between the eastern and the much less common but similar western tailed-blue butterfly. The central section of California and portions of the states of Oregon and Washington also has eastern tailed blues, which likely adapted to the habitat after being brought there inadvertently by man. The species is virtually absent from the Rocky Mountain region. It is often found in sunny open habitat.[4]

Host plants[edit]

The caterpillars feed on the seeds and flowers, and sometimes the leaves, of various legumes, including vetches and clover.[3]

References cited[edit]

  1. ^ "Cupido comyntas". Lepidoptera.pro. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ Eastern Tailed Blue, Butterflies of Canada
  3. ^ a b Hall, Peter W.; Jones, Colin D.; Guidotti, Antonia; Hubley, Brad (2014). The ROM Field Guide to the Butterflies of Ontario. Toronto, Canada: Royal Ontario Museum. pp. 204–205. ISBN 978-0-88854-497-1. 
  4. ^ a b "Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)". Butterflies and Moths of North America. Montana State University. Retrieved 2006-10-05. 
  5. ^ Glassberg, Jeffrey (2001). Butterflies of North America. New York: Sterling. ISBN 0-7607-5865-4. 

External links[edit]