We found him in a meadow on Pigeon Mountain. We were in the northwestern corner or Georgia, the Georgia mountains, close to Cloudland Canyon State Park. He was basking in the warming early morning sun. Butterflies, especially male butterflies benefit from the morning sun’s comforting warmth, enabling them to begin flying at top speeds, rather than seeing them up to risk reduced speed, and probable predators.
This male Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly is a handsome Lep, and one that stands out from those I’ve known these last decades. Those I’ve seen in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio. Toronto, New Hampshire, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Delaware had orange Spots on the trailing edges of their dorsal (upper) hindwings. He lacks those orange spots.
Is he alone is not having dorsal hindwing orange spots? Do all of the Eastern Tailed-Blues of the Georgia Mountains and nearby Tennessee lack them? The Western Tailed-Blues have them, but they now are found some 1,700 miles west of Pigeon Mountain.