New Jersey Butterflies

Eastern Tailed-Blue

Everes comyntas

Identification: Tiny—<1". Sexes similar below. Above: Male FW and HW deep blue with dark borders and small orange spots near tails. Female is similar, but dark gray, and orange spots are more prominent. Below: Pale gray/blue with many small dark spots on both wings, and HW with 2 orange spots near very thin, hairlike tail (visible only at fairly close range). Similar species: Azures are usually lighter blue above, lack orange spots on HW, and lack tails. Gray Hairstreak—which is occasionally seen open winged—is larger, has a larger orange spot on HW, 2 longer, more-obvious tails, and a small orange spot on head.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Common and widespread.

NJ Range Map-Eastern Tailed-Blue

Habitat: Dry or wet meadows, and other open places, including disturbed areas.

Flight Period: Several broods resulting in an extended flight from early April to late October. Extreme dates: North Jersey 4/1—11/4; South Jersey 3/17—12/14.

Larval Food Plants: Many legumes including clovers (Trifolium), tick-trefoils (Desmodium), bush-clovers (Lespedeza), and sweet clovers (Melilotus).

Overwintering Stage: Mature larva.

Best Locations: Anywhere and everywhere.


Eastern Tailed-Blue

Male, Mendham Twp., Morris Co., NJ, 8/8/08.

Eastern Tailed-Blue

Female, Mountainside Pk., Morris Co., NJ, 5/13/09.

Eastern Tailed-Blue

Lakehurst, Ocean Co., NJ, 6/18/05.

Red Clover

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense). This common, alien, clover is one of many species of legumes used as a host plant by Eastern Tailed-Blue.

Red Clover

Marsh Vetchling or Marsh Pea (Lathyrus palustris). This obligate wetland perennial is one of many species of legume that is host to Eastern Tailed-Blue larvae.