Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly
Recently I came across a small light colored butterfly in my garden that at first glance I thought was a Small Cabbage White I had seen in my garden here in Chicago. When I approached the butterfly it fluttered away revealing a blue or gray tint to the upper leaves. I knew immediately this wasn't a Small Cabbage White.
Some quick research lead me to believe that I had come across a Gray Hairstreak Butterfly. Even though the underside pattern looked the same the pattern on the underside of this butterfly is broken while on the Gray Hairstreak it is one continuous band.
To finally settle my curiosity I posted on the Butterfly Gardening forum on GardenWeb to see if people with more knowledge could help me find the true identity of this butterfly. Today I learned that this butterfly in my garden is actually an Eastern Tailed-Blue that is common to eastern North America. This butterfly is on the small side, 13⁄16 to 11⁄8 inches across, and feeds on legumes and their larva is protected by ants because of a substance they secret that the ants enjoy.
To see the other butterflies that I've photographed this year in Chicago look for the link list in my sidebar.