Habitat: A wide variety of open areas including fields, roadsides, and forest edges
Garden Abundance: Occasional
Wingspan: 1.4 - 2.0 in
Range: Throughout most of the eastern U.S. from Colorado to Maine and Minnesota, south to northern Florida
Larval Host Plants: Various legumes including bush clovers (Lespedeza spp.), clovers (Trifolium spp.) and vetches (Vicia spp.) Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), shepherd's needles (Bidens alba), white sweet clover (Melilotus alba) and Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum)
What the eastern tailed blue lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty. The wings beneath are a stunning silver gray with numerous black dots. There are three orange crescent shaped patches along the outside of each hind wing that draw attention to the single, short, hairlike tail. The color of the upper wing surfaces varies between the sexes. Males display a solid sky blue color with a white wing fringe; but the female's upper wings are slate gray. The eastern tailed blue is fond of flowers and is easily attracted to the garden. Males often gather in small puddle clubs at damp sand or gravel.
Females deposit the blue green eggs singly between flower buds or directly in the corolla of the host's flower. Young larvae feed on the buds and flowers while older larvae may feed on leaves. The mature caterpillar is green with a brown stripe down the back. Throughout their development, the larvae are attended by ants. The chrysalis is green with variable markings. Several generations are produced each year.
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