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  • Cassius Blue - (Leptotes cassius)

    Cassius Blue - (Leptotes cassius)

    When resting on a plant, the small Cassius Blue uses its dark black-and-blue eyespots to confuse predatory birds.

    Picture of Cassius Blue
    Staff Writer (6/3/2015): Cassius Blues are members of the Lycaenidae, or Gossamer-Wing family of butterflies. Gossamer refers to their fine, delicate wings and petite bodies. The Blues are usually shades of blue or have some blue on their wings. For this species, blue can be found on the two eyespots under each hindwing as well as on its dorsal area (back side). Cassius Blues bask in the sun with their wings flat, but they rest with them raised, allowing observers to see these bold eyespots clearly. While resting, the butterfly will rub its hindwings together, mimicking the motion of antennae being cleaned. This is believed to confuse butterfly-eating birds into thinking that the actual head of the butterfly is on the other end of its body. If successfully tricked, the bird attacks the butterfly at the eyespot region, giving the butterfly the chance to fly away with only a small bite missing from its hindwings.

    The caterpillars of the Cassius Blue are small and green to pale-green. They can be found eating the flowering parts of milkpeas, wild tamarind and other legumes. Three or more generations can be produced every year, which creates a stable local population.

    This species can be found in Texas and Florida where they are commonly found all year long. The adults can be found in gardens, parks, sand dunes, and plant nurseries.

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    Details of the:
    Cassius Blue

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Cassius Blue
    Scientific Name: Leptotes cassius

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Lycaenidae
           Genus: Leptotes
            Species: cassius

    Size (Adult, Length): 16mm to 25mm (0.63in to 0.98in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, white, black, blue, yellow

    Additional Descriptors: eyespots, dots, small, patchy, tail, flying, erratic

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Florida; Texas

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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