Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Eastern Tailed Blue Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Cupido comyntas
Description: Caterpillars are variable in
color: may be green; green and red; mostly red. There is a dorsal stripe and lateral
lines. Body is covered with fine white hairs. The head is black.
Chrysalis: Pellet-shaped. Color varies:
may be whitish green with darker head and thorax; dark green; tan.
Host Plants: Legumes (Fabaceae) including Wild
Lupines (Lupinus perennis), American and Carolina Vetch (Vicia americana and V. Caroliniana),
Beach Pea (Lathyrus japonicus), White Pea (Lathyrus ochroleucus), Marsh Pea (Lathyrus
palustris), Veiny Pea (Lathyrus venosus), and Tick Trefoils (Desmodium canadense, D.
glutinosum, D. illinoense, D. nudiflorum) note: caterpillars overwinter in the seed pods
Habitat: Open, often disturbed areas, prairie
restorations, and city parks.
Comments: The Eastern Tailed Blue is the most
commonly seen Blue in the state. It is found throughout the state from May though October.
Although all the Blues may do some puddling, this species seems to be more prone to
congregating in groups at moist areas along ponds and streams.
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy,
while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars
share certain morphological features.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.