Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly

Eastern tailed blue butterflies can easily go unnoticed with their small size. Sneaking up on one that’s landed, and then finding it in the camera’s view finder can be challenging. This eastern tailed blue landed on white clover. Blends in doesn’t it?

Eastern tailed blues facts: wingspan 3/4 to 1 inch; males irridescent blue above and summer females brown above; found practically anywhere except deep woods; flies low to ground and perches low; lays eggs on legumes, especially clovers, beans, tick trefoil, wild pea and others; range covers most of U.S., south through Mexico, and Central America, and is undergoing a name change from Everes comyntas to Cupido comyntas.

Eastern tailed blue on white clover

The eastern tailed blue shows one of the defense methods used by butterflies that offers protection from predators. Dragonflies, spiders, birds, bugs, wasps, small mammals, frogs and toads, and lizards all prey on butterflies. The red and black spots, and the 2 tails makes a fake head. When the butterfly is perched, it slowly moves its hindwings back and forth. This makes the tails look like antennae. So if a predator went after the butterfly, it would go for the fake head, breaking off part of the hindwing, and the butterfly escapes.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. That’s cool. It didn’t even occur to me that those tails were diversion tactics. I wonder how many clipped wings there are out there.

    Reply

    • There are a lot of clipped wings on great spangled fritillaried right now. Some are the wedge shape of birds beak. Others now sure the predator. I had a program I did for schools, etc with the defense methods of caterpillars and butterflies and plan to blog them when the occasions arise.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Therese on June 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Darn! This is good. I still didn’t see the butterfly in the first picture! Very interesting AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! The butterfly is absolutely beautiful! Did I overdo the exclamation points?

    Reply

    • I’ll accept all the exclamation points you want to give out. The butterfly is near the open clover flower in the middle of the picture. I was watching one fly the other day. It disappeared while I was looking at it. They don’t play fair.

      Reply

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