Why are Male Butterflies More Likely to Seek Minerals?

Eastern tailed blue photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

He’s our 2nd post of an Eastern-Tailed  Blue butterfly. Our first post offers a ventral (underside) wing of the wings.

Here the dorsal (upper) wing surface blares the fantastic blue of a fresh, healthy male ETB. Experts use the ‘ETB’ shortcut to identify individuals of this butterfly species.

About in June on a moist trail at Raccoon Creek State Park, he is taking up water and all of those minerals that we learned about on that beloved Periodic Table of Elements. Why are males more likely to be seeking minerals? Because males spend much of their day flying around searching for females. This extended flight time results in a good deal of protein wear and tear and . . . they’ll need fresh mineral caches to synthesize brand-new protein molecules (these elements are part of the make-up of different protein molecules).

Everes comyntas prefer trails and cut and disturbed areas and you’ll see them from April to late September. When disturbed they fly as short distance, close to the ground and set down perhaps 20 feet down trail.

The ladies don’t have blue above. Instead their dorsal wing color is gray.

How large are ETB’s? Tiny, about the width of your thumbnail. But . . . they’re pookies, perky, waif-like and pretty, especially their black and orange/red markings (see our other posting).

Where are they during February? They winter over as (eggs, papa, larva, adults). Which is it?


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