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Eastern-tailed Blue Butterfly (Cupido comyntas)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Eastern-tailed Blue Butterfly

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Image Credit: Eric B.
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The charming Eastern-tailed Blue Butterfly is a small, delicate visitor to flowers of all kinds.

Updated: 04/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Eastern-tailed Blue Butterfly is a member of the Gossamer-Winged Butterfly group. They are light and airy, floating through the air on delicate wings. This species is a part of the Blues tribe, where most members are shades of blue, from a pale steely hue to rich azure. Males have royal blue wings when they are open flat while females' wings are brown. When closed, the undersides of the wings for both sexes are pale blue with black/gray markings. Two orange eyespots on each hindwing are thought to help confuse bird predators. If the bird mistakes the eyespot for an insect's head and pecks at it, a small part of the wing may be damaged, but the butterfly escapes virtually unharmed.

The Eastern-tailed Blue Butterfly enjoys sitting on flowers and stems with its wings open, occasionally rubbing the hindwings together as if to scratch an itch. It is the only Blue on the eastern part of the continent with a 'tail' on the ends of each wing. Males tend to socialize at puddles or wet mud in what are called "puddle parties". This small butterfly can be found in parks, gardens, meadows and anywhere else flowers are abundant. The caterpillar of the Eastern-Tailed Blue Butterfly feeds on the leaves of flowering plants and a variety of bean plants.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Helpful insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Lycaenidae
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          Genus: Cupido
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            Species: comyntas
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Cupido comyntas
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 22mm (0.70" to 0.86")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue, black, gray, brown, white, orange
Descriptors: small, slow, flying, helpful
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 18mm (0.7in) and 22mm (0.9in)
Lo: 18mm
Md: 20mm
Hi: 22mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Eastern-tailed Blue Butterfly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Eastern-tailed Blue Butterfly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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