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Trail Sign #4

Updated: Mar 2

Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly

Location (SLURL)

Edibility Factor: None. What kind of monster are you?

The Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly is a small yet striking species native to North America. Scientifically known as Cupido comyntas, it belongs to the Lycaenidae family, commonly referred to as the gossamer-winged butterflies. One of its most distinguishing features is the series of delicate tails extending from the hindwings, giving it a whimsical appearance in flight.

Measuring just over an inch (2.5 cm) in wingspan, the Eastern Tailed Blue displays vibrant shades of iridescent blue on the upper side of its wings, while the undersides are a soft, pale grayish-white with black spots and orange crescents along the edges.

This enchanting butterfly can be found in a variety of open habitats, including meadows, prairies, fields, and woodland edges throughout much of eastern North America. It has also adapted to urban environments, often seen fluttering among gardens, parks, and roadside flowers.

The Eastern Tailed Blue's distribution extends from southern Canada down to Florida and westward to the Rocky Mountains. Its ability to thrive in diverse habitats makes it a common sight for butterfly enthusiasts across its range.

Like all butterflies, the Eastern Tailed Blue undergoes a remarkable transformation from egg to larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and finally, adult butterfly. Females lay tiny eggs on host plants, which typically include various legumes such as clover, alfalfa, and vetches.

Upon hatching, the caterpillars feed voraciously on the leaves of their host plants before entering the pupal stage. During this time, they undergo metamorphosis, emerging as adult butterflies adorned in their signature blue hues.

Eastern Tailed Blues are known for their delicate flight patterns and their tendency to perch with their wings closed, showcasing the intricate patterns on their undersides. They are most active during the warmer months, with multiple generations emerging each year.

While the Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly is currently considered abundant and widespread, it faces threats from habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. Conservation efforts aimed at preserving and restoring native habitats are essential for ensuring the continued survival of this and other butterfly species.

Individuals can contribute to butterfly conservation by planting native wildflowers and host plants in their gardens, avoiding the use of pesticides, and supporting initiatives that protect natural habitats.


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