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Posts Tagged ‘Cupido comyntas’

It is nearly impossible to miss the ostentatious displays of brilliant color as a succession of flowers and trees burst onto the springtime scene. Sometimes, though, they overwhelm my senses and I find myself more drawn to the delicate beauty of the tiny wildflowers that pop up in fields and forests.

Yesterday I was happy to photograph a skittish Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly (Cupido comyntas) as it moved about in a small patch of Spring Beauty wildflowers (Claytonia virginica) in a forested area of Prince William County. With my macro lens, I was able to capture the distinctive “tail” and orange chevrons that help in identifying this tiny butterfly that has a wingspan of only ¾ – 1¾ inches (22 – 29 mm). I also managed to capture the beautiful pink markings of the spring beauties, including the anthers at the tips of the stamens.

It is easy to lose myself in this magical tiny world or perhaps it might be more correct to say that I find myself there.

Eastern-tailed Blue

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This delicate little butterfly was facing away from me, but I love the way that you can see the beautiful markings on the inside of its wings. I believe it is an Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly (Cupido comyntas), a kind of hairstreak butterfly with an average wingspan of only about one inch (25mm).

I chased after a number of these butterflies earlier this week when I was exploring Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. They don’t fly very fast, but their flight path is unpredictable and close to the ground and they usually don’t perch for long in one spot.

I suspect that if someone had been observing me from a distance, they would have been hard-pressed to figure out what I was trying to photograph and might have concluded that I was merely another crazy wildlife photographer. We are a peculiar breed, aren’t we?

Eastern-tailed Blue

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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I can identify most of the large butterflies here in Northern Virginia, but the tiny ones continue to confound me. This past weekend I was able to get some shots of some tiny beauties with my macro lens, but I am not really confident in my identification of any of them.

The first image, I think, may be an Eastern Tailed-blue butterfly (Blue Everes comyntas) or it could be some kind of hairstreak butterfly. The second one looks to be a sulphur, but I can’t decide if it is clouded, cloudless, or some other kind of sulphur butterfly. As for the final shot, I don’t even have a guess.

Despite my confusion about identification, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the delicate beauty of this tiny creatures.

Eastern Tailed-blue

sulphur butterfly

tiny butterfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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