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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, 1316 to 118 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.


  1. What a interesting butterfly. So small. And a very nice photo! I love the bit of orange/yellow on the back of it's wings.

  2. I have seen those on occasion in my garden down here.. Not as often as the Monarchs and Swallowtails.. He is lovely..

  3. Heather9:25 AM

    Which came first, this post or finding my old one asking you about my butterfly? I'm not a member of, but I'm going to join and see if they can help me with my butterfly identification -- cause I'm clearly awful at it! Pretty photo as usual.

  4. What a pretty butterfly. I wonder whether we get this type in the UK?
    Sara from farmingfriends

  5. Great photo, Mr. brown Thumb,
    That is a pretty butterfly, don't know that I've seen one like that before...
    Glad you visited again, and like my "Blue" Mosaic collages..Blue is my fav. color also...but I guess that's kinda obvious..

  6. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to comment.


    Glad you liked the pic


    If you want we can trade. I've only seen one of the swallow tails in my garden and wouldn't mind seeing more of those.


    I posted this one before I saw your post and thought maybe we had the same brown one. I haven't posted that one here yet I'll wait until I get an ID on it but I think it is a moth.


    I can't count how many times I've been to your blog and haven't realized you are in the UK. Guess the next visit I'll be there with new eyes.


    Thanks for stopping by and glad you liked it.

  7. Great photo of a sweet little butterfly! Don't you just love Gardenweb? I can always get an answer there to my questions.

  8. Hmmm, I don't see a bit of blue unless it's on the tips of the upper wing.

  9. Connie,

    I do love gardenweb you can find a forum on any theme you need!


    The blue color is located on the upper side of the wings.



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