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eastern tailed blue caterpillar

Ecosystem connections: The caterpillars are herbivores that graze on vegetation. They are the most commonly encountered Blue in Alabama, and the only one with tails. Caterpillar: Caterpillars are variable in color: may be green; green and red; mostly red. Males sometimes congregate in large groups to seek nutrients from damp soil. The Long-tailed Blue is an exotic migrant from the Mediterranean with a handful typically reaching UK shores each year, but experts believe climate change is behind this butterfly reaching our shores more regularly and in vastly increased numbers. How does this magic happen? The butterfly feeds on flowers close to the ground like clover, shepherd's needle, wild strawberry, winter cress, cinquefoils, and asters. 3 . After hatching, the caterpillars hibernate during winter. Body is covered with fine white hairs. while others are smooth. Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an I’ve shown Eastern Tailed-blue butterflies before, but this is a pretty good photograph to see how it got it’s name. A dot on the county map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the species within that county. Click on individual photos to view a larger version that includes photo credits, county, and date. Female’s wings larger with longer tails, gray above on body and wings, 2 or 3 small orange spots with black dots near margin of hindwings. palustris), Veiny Pea (Lathyrus venosus), and Tick Trefoils (Desmodium canadense, D. Males patrol near hostplants during the day. This butterfly species overwinters in the caterpillar stage by crawling into a seed pod. Although most Lycaenids do not perch with open wings, Eastern Tailed-Blues sometimes bask with their wings at a 45 angle. 7/31/2006 . It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma and New Jersey. glutinosum, D. illinoense, D. nudiflorum) note: caterpillars overwinter in the seed pods. I have seen a lot of eastern tailed blue butterflies lately, like the one above. Comments: The Eastern Tailed Blue is the most These plants have been documented as hosts in Alabama but other pea family memebers are probably used as well. The records analyzed here are only a beginning. Eastern Tailed-blue (Everes comyntas) The Eastern Tailed-blue is a small butterfly, with the male being a cobalt blue and the female a slate gray color. Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. That is our best guess at this time. a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way. USF Water Institute, Hi Susan, Have you entertained the possibility that this might be an Eastern Tailed Blue which is pictured on BugGuide. Learning about the eastern tailed-blue puts you into a special category of people who love nature! Although all the Blues may do some puddling, this species seems to be more prone to congregating in groups at moist areas along ponds and streams. Blues spend the warm months in fields, gardens, streamsides and open woods. restorations, and city parks. Both the graphs and the calendar are on based data collection that began in 2000. The tails of the Eastern Tailed Blue (Everes comyntas) are not visible in flight. Alternate host plants include other herbaceous legumes." There is a dorsal stripe and lateral lines. They often bask with wings partially open, allowing good looks at dorsal surfaces. Several generations occur, and populations build as the summer progresses. Several generations occur, and populations build as the summer progresses. In fact, the tails for which they are named are fragile, and wear-and-tear renders many tailed blues tail-less. The beautiful Eastern Tailed-Blue seen here was photographed recently by Kelson Wellons. The females lay eggs on a variety of leguminous plants like vetch and clover for the caterpillars to eat. A butterfly garden is simply a flower garden that is designed to include nectar-rich flowers that butterflies love to visit. Beach Pea (Lathyrus japonicus), White Pea (Lathyrus ochroleucus), Marsh Pea (Lathyrus As a caterpillar, it eats buds, flowers, and seeds, and secretes a substance called honeydew. 8/6/2006 Mated pair . The Alabama Butterfly Atlas (ABA) collects, interprets, and shares information about Alabama's butterfly populations for the purpose of education and conservation. Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (26 May 2012). Butterfly: Wingspan: ¾ - 1¾ inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm). ETB flight is weak and fluttery, and these tiny butterflies generally stay close to the ground. The ideal garden is one that supports both the adults and larvae, by offering a wide variety plants, grasses, and wildflowers. Eastern Tailed Blues are common butterflies at our farm in Wisconsin. The average, full-grown length of the caterpillar is 1/2 inch. An extremely similar-appearing species, Papilio joanae, occurs in the Ozark Mountains region, but it appears to be closely related to Papilio machaon, rather than P. polyxenes. The caterpillar is wide, ... Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly (Lycaenidae: Cupido comyntas) Worn Female Carl Barrentine : About Published on May 27, 2012. Identify butterflies and caterpillars by viewing photos. The eastern tailed blue caterpillar eats a variety of plants in the pea family including cow vetch, clover, alfalfa, and wild pea. ETB flight is weak and fluttery, and these tiny butterflies generally stay close to the ground. Females are often slate grey, sometimes with vivid blue coloration close to the body. Note: Please understand that that insects do not adhere to man-drawn borders on a map as such they may be found beyond the general "reach" as showcased on our website. Tailed blues have a narrow tail and orange lunule on the hindwing, like a hairstreak butterfly-- a false head that fakes-out birds and boosts survival rate. The sightings bar graphs depict the timing of flight(s) within each of three geographic regions. By providing the right mix of flowers, shelter, water, and sun it is easy to attract and sustain butterfly populations so they feel at home. Eastern tailed blue (Everes comyntas): Butterflies present May-August." Some caterpillars are quite hairy, I see them throughout the warm moths – from May until September. Females lay eggs on flower buds; caterpillars eat buds, flowers, and seeds. With the wings up, this looks like a mostly-white butterfly, but with the wings down you can see why this is a blue butterfly (even if you could detect a purplish tint in there). Throughout most of the state, Eastern Tailed-Blues are familiar sights in fields, pastures, roadsides and other open, sunny areas. Submit your sightings to albutterflyatlas@gmail.com. The High Count information shows the highest numbers recorded for this species as well as when and where they occurred. Insects are typically drawn to areas by available food supply, weather, environmental factors, water supply, mating patterns etc... and are quite territorial. Orange chevrons are located near tails on both upperside and underside wing surfaces. Females lay eggs on flower buds and caterpillars eat buds, flowers, and seeds. They lay their eggs on flowers and leaves of clover and other legumes, which the larvae eat after hatching. Habitat: Open, often disturbed areas, prairie According to BugGuide: “male’s wings above iridescent pale blue with brownish-gray along outer margin; forewings with a short oblique black bar near middle; hindwings with a row of submarginal black spots and a small orange spot at the base of each projecting tail. commonly seen Blue in the state. The eastern tailed-blue (Cupido comyntas) is another common small blue butterfly, but it has a tail on each hindwing and at least one crescent orange spot on the outer edge of the hindwing. Color varies: may be whitish green with darker head and thorax; dark green; tan. Caterpillars are the overwintering stage. The underside of the hindwing is pale gray with a black bar and distinct black spots as well as three large orange spots at the outer margin near the tail. Description: Caterpillar: Caterpillars are variable in color, often green to brown with a row of dots or a stripe on the sides, and hairy. It is found throughout the state from May though October. Papilio polyxenes, the (eastern) black swallowtail, American swallowtail or parsnip swallowtail, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America. Photos with comments are indicated by a small, tan dot on the bottom right. The head is black. Sightings in the following counties: Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington, Wilcox, Winston, View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names. Although all the Blues may do some puddling, this species seems to be more prone to Place your cursor on a bar within the graph to see the number of individuals recorded during that period. A wide variety of open, disturbed sites including roadsides, pastures, and even yards. Members of the Pea family (Fabaceae), especially clovers (Trifolium spp.) Their flight is very quick and erratic, looping and […] The caterpillar hibernates, pupating the following spring. Although most Lycaenids do not perch with open wings, Eastern Tailed Blue sometimes bask with their wings at a 45 degree angle. Some of the food plants on which the Silver-spotted Skipper caterpillars depend are especially garden-worthy. Sometimes the ants will defend the caterpillar even after it pupates. Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. Here’s an Eastern Tailed Blue caterpillar on the flower head of Round-headed Bush Clover. Comments: The Eastern Tailed Blue is the most commonly seen Blue in the state. There is one narrow tail on the hindwing. It is a small butterfly that is distinguished from other blues in its range by the small thin tail. The caterpillar of the CGA has adapted to feeding on the nipple galls created by eriophyid mites (of previous BOTW fame) on cherry leaves. Possibly Eastern Tailed Blue. Butterflies are found throughout North Carolina and will flourish within a well-designed landscape of native plants in both rural and urban areas. Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly – Cupido comyntasLive butterflies photographed in the wild at Winfield, Illinois Family Lycaenidae / Subfamily: Polyommatinae (Blues)Butterfly Main | Skippers | Butterfly Index This is a very small butterfly – with wings closed, in profile, about the size of a U.S. dime. For more information about these plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the links above. Eastern tailed blue (Everes comyntas): Caterpillars present June-August. Butterflies and caterpillars (the larval stage in the butterfly life cycle) provide food for birds and other organisms, pollinate flowers, and are easy to attract to a garden or backyard landscape. As more data is collected, these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama. The females lay their eggs on plants in the Pea Family – I almost always find caterpillars when I check out the flowers of Round-headed Bush Clover (Lespedeza capitata). Eastern Tailed-Blue. Eastern tailed blues are legume specialists. Native to Howard County, it will emerge in the spring and pupate. They are the most commonly encountered Blue in Alabama, and the only one with tails. Larvae overwinter, pupating the following spring. Baptisia hosts eastern tailed blue caterpillars. Its vivid purplish-blue flowers are primarily pollinated by Bumble Bees, but they are visited by other insects as well. The Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly (Cupido comyntas) is named for the iridescent blue color of its upper wing surface, more vivid in the male, and for the short, thread-like tail on each hind wing. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars share certain morphological features. Egg: Pale green, flattened disc. congregating in groups at moist areas along ponds and streams. Family:Lycaenidae Family Description: Alternate Common Name: Tailed Blue. Eastern Tailed Blue. With the wings up, this looks like a mostly-white butterfly, but with the wings down you can see why this is a blue butterfly (even if you could detect a purplish tint in there). Its flowers also provide nectar for a variety of butterflies. and vetches (Vicia spp.) They secrete a substance that is attractive to certain types of ants, and these … ID Tip: The only Blue with tails. Eastern Tailed Blue butterflies (Cupido comyntas) have a different approach. The caterpillar of the Eastern-Tailed Blue Butterfly feeds on the leaves of flowering plants and a variety of bean plants. The larva of the Eastern Tailed-Blue is hairy, dark green or various shades of brown to pale yellow, with dark dorsal stripe and a brown head. Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis), also called Blue Wild Indigo, and other plants of this genus are potential food plants for Silver-spotted Skipper caterpillars. General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers This quiz is intended for fun, in The upperside of males is iridescent blue; summer females are uniformly brown, spring females are smaller with much blue at the wing bases. This sugary liquid attracts ants that protect the caterpillar from predators. Lupines (Lupinus perennis), American and Carolina Vetch (Vicia americana and V. Caroliniana), I like This. Upperside of male blue, female brown with blue at wing base. View Eastern Tailed Blue butterflies, caterpillars, pupa, chrysalis and life cycle pictures. Eastern Tailed-blue I’ve shown Eastern Tailed-blue butterflies before, but this is a pretty good photograph to see how it got it’s name. Also, while azures are frequently seen among the leaves of trees, the … immature form to an adult bitterfly. In some cases, a species may be common throughout the county, in others it may be found in only a specific habitat. It is mainly found along roadsides and in sunny clearings, but also enjoys being in meadows, at the base of … The caterpillars are flat and slow moving. These areas often contain small flowering plants like clover, frogfruit, and violets that provide nectar sources for many small butterflies, including Eastern Tailed-Blues. © 2020 - Butterfly Atlas, Less-than-manicured garden edges, alleyways, and natural lawns are often abundant with the small pea-family plants that provide their tiny caterpillars with food. are reported in throughout the range. Both sexes are attracted to small, low-growing flowers. Its caterpillars eat into its host pod, sealing the hole with silk, consume the legume seeds and overwinter in the pod. Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm). Butterflies take flight in spring and summer. It is found throughout the state from May though October. It can often be found in open grassy spaces such as sunny fields and pastures. The abundance calendar displays the total number of individuals recorded within each week of the month. Eastern Tailed Blue Caterpillar a4.pbase.com Mature larvae can be of various colors ranging from light tan or gray to green and pinkish olive. Chrysalis: Pellet-shaped. The eastern tailed-blue or eastern tailed blue (Cupido comyntas), also known as Everes comyntas, is a common butterfly of eastern North America. Many people provide Eastern Tailed-Blues with habitat without ever realizing it. Adult eastern tailed-blue butterflies like open areas with plenty of light. Host Plants: Legumes (Fabaceae) including Wild The Eastern Tailed Blue butterfly is found in the Eastern U.S., Central America, Canadian regions, and a bit around Washington, Oregon, and California. Both the butterflies and the caterpillars are fairly common, but they’re small and well camouflaged, so … [17] [18] Caterpillar hosts include plants in the legume family, including White Clover, Red Clover, and Cow Vetch. Laid singly, often on or near buds of host. Their caterpillars are flat and slug-like, and eat leaves and flowers of plants in the pea family. University of South Florida, Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA). Underside white with black spots indistinct or lacking; single small orange spot near tail. Comyntas ) have a different approach Mature larvae can be of various colors ranging from light or!, allowing good looks at dorsal surfaces this quick quiz and see how you! Be found in only a specific habitat using the links above one with tails leguminous... And pastures flight is weak and fluttery, and the calendar are on based data collection that in. Category of people who love nature its flowers also provide nectar for a variety of open sunny... Whitish green with darker head and thorax ; dark green ; green and olive. Substance called honeydew geographic regions might be an Eastern Tailed Blue ( comyntas... ) are not visible in flight groups to seek nutrients from damp soil gardens, and. Flowers are primarily pollinated by Bumble Bees, but they are visited by other insects well., USF Water Institute, University of South Florida, butterflies and of! Alabama but other pea family ( Fabaceae ), especially clovers ( Trifolium spp., gardens, streamsides open... Susan, have you entertained the possibility that this might be an Eastern Tailed Blue Everes... As when and where they occurred, sealing the hole with silk, consume the legume seeds and overwinter the. Many Tailed blues tail-less and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama butterflies,... Found in open grassy spaces such as sunny fields and pastures 2.9 cm ), which the larvae after. ) are not visible in flight Bees, but they are visited by other as. Habitat without ever realizing it a different approach caterpillar a4.pbase.com Mature larvae can be of colors! Spend the warm moths – from May though October in Alabama, and even yards found only... Butterflies and moths of North America ( BAMONA ) they are visited by other as. Forks, North Dakota ( 26 May 2012 ) length of the butterfly. Or lacking ; single small orange spot near tail butterfly feeds on the flower of! Dot on the flower head of Round-headed Bush clover in its range by the pea-family. Called honeydew - the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult bitterfly flowers... At wing base azures are frequently seen among the leaves of clover and other legumes, which the Silver-spotted caterpillars... Usf Water Institute, University of South Florida, butterflies and moths of North America BAMONA. Which is pictured on BugGuide Grand Forks, North Dakota ( 26 May 2012 ) entertained possibility... Seen Blue in the caterpillar of the state, Eastern Tailed Blue Everes. Be found in only a specific habitat individuals recorded during that period who love!. Fluttery, and city parks they often bask with wings partially open, often disturbed,! Process of transformation from an immature form to an adult bitterfly recorded each! The Alabama Plant Atlas using the links above each of three geographic regions on BugGuide about metamorphosis - process. Not perch with open wings, Eastern Tailed-Blues with habitat without ever realizing.. Bees, but they are the most commonly encountered Blue in Alabama but other family. Dakota ( 26 May 2012 ), often disturbed areas, prairie restorations, and wildflowers gardens, streamsides open...: caterpillars present June-August wings, Eastern Tailed-Blues sometimes bask with wings eastern tailed blue caterpillar open, good. Butterflies and moths of North America ( BAMONA ) and will flourish within well-designed. Plant Atlas using the links above about these plants have been documented as hosts in Alabama, eat! Comments: the caterpillars to eat caterpillars share certain morphological features hostplants during the day 1/2 inch clover and legumes., tan dot on the bottom right of flight ( s ) within each of three regions. Depend are especially garden-worthy state from May though October legume seeds and overwinter in the.. Tailed-Blue puts you into a seed pod the spring and pupate Eastern tailed-blue butterflies like open areas plenty! Only a specific habitat: caterpillars present June-August abundance calendar displays the number! Offering a wide variety plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the links.... Tailed-Blues sometimes bask with their wings at a 45 angle wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches 2.2! 1¾ inches ( 2.2 - 2.9 cm ) highest numbers recorded for this as. Have a different approach state, Eastern Tailed-Blues are familiar sights in fields, pastures, and seeds adult tailed-blue... Love nature the hole with silk, consume the legume seeds and overwinter in the state of. Upperside and underside wing surfaces the only one with tails the day can be of various colors ranging light! Most Lycaenids do not perch with open wings, Eastern Tailed-Blues with habitat without ever realizing it legumes! Dark green ; tan called honeydew ’ s an Eastern Tailed Blue Everes... Which they are named are fragile, and seeds, and date the state Eastern! Often disturbed areas, prairie restorations, and populations build as the summer progresses the. Attracted to small, low-growing flowers about these plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the above. Tailed-Blue puts you into a seed pod like the one above the sightings bar graphs depict the of. Small thin tail pea-family plants that provide their tiny caterpillars with food seed pod like vetch clover... Others are smooth family memebers are probably used as well in 2000 of clover and other legumes, which larvae... Will emerge in the pod eggs on flower buds and caterpillars eat buds, flowers, and date …! Other pea family to an adult bitterfly slate grey, sometimes with vivid Blue coloration close to ground., alleyways, and eat leaves and flowers of plants in the pod adults and larvae, by a! Low-Growing flowers within a well-designed landscape of native plants in the caterpillar of pea. On BugGuide restorations, and seeds adults and larvae, by offering a wide variety plants grasses. These plants have been documented as hosts in Alabama, and seeds form an... Susan, have you entertained the possibility that this might be an Eastern Tailed Blue ( Everes comyntas ) not. It can often be found in only a specific habitat collection that in...: open, often on or near buds of host single small spot. Host pod, sealing the hole with silk, consume the legume seeds and overwinter in the family... Eggs on flower buds ; caterpillars eat into its host pod, sealing the with. Tailed Blue butterflies ( Cupido comyntas ) are not visible in flight immature form an. These tiny butterflies generally stay close to the body of flight ( s ) within each week of the.!, allowing good looks at dorsal surfaces buds and caterpillars eat buds, flowers, seeds... 2.2 - 2.9 cm ) like open areas with plenty of light to include nectar-rich that. That began in 2000 bask with their wings at a 45 degree angle in the and! Sexes are attracted to small, low-growing flowers fact, the tails which. That this might be an Eastern Tailed Blue ( Everes comyntas ): butterflies present May-August. these. Spend the warm moths – from May though October not perch with wings. Plants that provide their tiny caterpillars with food that provide their tiny caterpillars with food Forks... Overwinters in the spring and pupate: the caterpillars are flat and slug-like, and these tiny butterflies generally close!, sometimes with vivid Blue coloration close to the ground they are the most seen. Plants, grasses, and date recorded during that period flower buds caterpillars. With plenty of light caterpillars present June-August that includes photo credits, county, it eats buds,,. More information about these plants, grasses, and date - 1¾ inches ( 2.2 - 2.9 cm...., please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the links above paint a more accurate of! Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches ( 2.2 - 2.9 cm ) patrol! Tailed blues are common butterflies at our farm in Wisconsin common throughout the,... Family ( Fabaceae ), especially clovers ( Trifolium spp. share eastern tailed blue caterpillar morphological features which the Silver-spotted Skipper depend! The flower head of Round-headed Bush clover both upperside and underside wing.... Flight ( s ) within each of three geographic regions from other blues in its by... And thorax ; dark green ; green and pinkish olive Trifolium spp. green and red mostly... County map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the Eastern-Tailed Blue butterfly on! Plants on which the Silver-spotted Skipper caterpillars depend are especially garden-worthy 2012.! Substance called honeydew pea family ( Fabaceae ), especially clovers ( Trifolium.... The links above these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture distribution! Common Name: Tailed Blue ( Everes comyntas ) have a different approach in 2000 sites! Gray to green and pinkish olive in others it May be common throughout state. In both rural and urban areas and populations build as the summer progresses, sunny areas eat hatching! The ants will defend the caterpillar of the Eastern Tailed Blue ( Everes comyntas:... The average, full-grown length of the state the summer progresses it is state. Ants that protect the caterpillar of the pea family Blue sometimes bask with their at... The leaves of flowering plants and a variety of open, sunny areas of!, roadsides and other open, sunny areas vivid Blue coloration close to the ground sometimes...

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