Eastern Tailed-Blue: # 15 of “23 Butterflies in 2023”

Leonard Weber

April 22, 2023

It is a tiny blue butterfly, but the blue disappears when it alights and closes its wings. This description fits a couple of different butterfly species that are present in Eliza Howell Park, but the one featured here is Eastern Tailed-Blue. It is the little blue butterfly seen most often in the summer in the wildflower field.

Eastern Tailed-Blue has a wingspan of (up to) 1 inch. Two little orange spots are often noticeable on the hindwings, near the tiny “tails.”

It is the only blue butterfly in southern Michigan that has tails.

Though it is often missed because of its size, it is possible to see it here from May through August.

Males are brighter blue above than females, which may appear more brown than blue.

The caterpillars feed on the flowers and seeds of plants in the pea family (clovers, vetches, etc.). There may be 3 broods a year. The adults that emerge in the spring have spent the winter in the caterpillar stage.

The next photo is of a mating pair.

Tailed-Blues visit flowers at times, where they may nectar with wings closed or with wings open.

Eastern Tailed-Blue is another species that, year in and year out, enriches my butterfly watching in Eliza Howell Park

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