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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Western Short-tailed Blue
Everes amyntula  GODART, 1824
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - POLYOMMATINAE
Tribe - POLYOMMATINI
Everes amyntula  female, Alberta, Canada  Martin Gascoigne-Pees
Introduction
The genus Everes comprises of 7 species distributed variously across North America, Europe, Asia, the Oriental region and Australia. It is regarded by some authorities as a subgenus of Cupido which consists of a further 11 Eurasian species.
Everes and Cupido males are dark brown overlaid with metallic blue or violet scales. In amyntula and some other species the blue covers almost the entire wing surface. In others such as minimus there is only a light dusting of blue over the basal area. In females the amount of blue is usually reduced. The underside of all species is pale silvery-grey, with a series of dark grey marginal and submarginal dots and dashes. Everes have small orange cubital spots on the underside hindwing, but these are absent in Cupido.
There are 2 Everes species found in North America - comyntas which is found in the eastern states of the USA and south to Ecuador; and amyntula which is endemic to the western states of the USA.
Habitats
This species is usually found in disturbed or eroded habitats including mountain scree slopes, fields, meadows, dunes, riverbanks, and along wide sunlit forest trails.
Lifecycle
The eggs are white, round and flattened. They are dotted in two's and three's on the sepals, petals, leaves or stems of the foodplants. These include Astragalus, Lathyrus and various other genera of herbaceous Fabaceae. The larva is woodlouse-shaped and slightly hairy. It occurs in several colour forms - whitish, buff, pale brown or pale green. It has a dark dorsal stripe, either side of which is a series of dark oblique dashes. The pupa is pale buff, with a broken black dorsal stripe and a series of dorso-lateral black spots. It is usually formed on the underside of a leaf, attached by the tail to a silk pad, and secured with a silk girdle around the waist.
Adult behaviour
Males are usually seen singly, or in mixed aggregations with other Polyommatines, mud-puddling on damp patches of ground or visiting dung. Both sexes visit a wide variety of flowers. They tend to spend a long time on each plant, walking about over the flower heads as they probe different parts of the nectaries with their proboscises. When feeding they hold their wings erect or half open.

 

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