Eastern Tailed-Blue

Male Eastern Tailed-Blue basking in the sunlight. The tails and tiny red eyespots distinguish this species from the similar Spring and Summer Azure. 

This is a summer form female. Her wings are completely charcoal gray rather than blue.

Underside of an Eastern Tailed-Blue, nectaring on an echinacea flower. The red eyespots and tails are similar to those of a hairstreak butterfly. These features are probably meant to deflect birdstrikes away from the butterfly's vulnerable head. 

Another summer form female Eastern Tailed-Blue. This species flies from mid-April through October in our area. These butterflies are abundant in fields, meadows, and prairies.

Eastern Tailed-Blue with his wings half-open, photographed at Twin Creek MetroPark. 

Female Eastern Tailed-Blues have two forms. This is the spring form female. Her wings are darker than the male's, but they still have some blue scales.