Saturday, October 8, 2016

Western Tailed-Blue Butterfly

Somehow, I've never taken an entomology class.  It's a personal failing on my part.  Sections of classes I've taken covered insects briefly however, and maybe someday I'll take a real class on insects.  For now, there are field guides, and the internet, to aid my very rudimentary knowledge of the insect world.  I still find "bugs" of all kinds fascinating!

From what I can gather, this little guy is a Western Tailed-Blue Butterfly, in the order Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and family Lycaenidae, the gossamer-winged butterflies, which includes other blues, coppers and hairstreaks (which are all broad types of butterflies).
This butterfly landed in the grass along the Merced River in the Great Central Valley, and let me get a good look at him: as the name would suggest, the uppersides of the wings are a beautiful blue, while the undersides, the sides exposed when the wings are closed as in this photo, are white-ish.  Adults feed on flower nectar and they prefer open areas of native vegetation, including meadows and chaparral.

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