Cupido comyntas - (Godart, [1824])
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Synonym(s): Cupido (Everes) comyntas (Godart, 1824) ;Everes comyntas (Godart, [1824])
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cupido comyntas (Godart, 1824) (TSN 777889)
French Common Names: bleu porte-queue de l'Est
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.116200
Element Code: IILEPF9010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Butterflies and Skippers
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Lycaenidae Cupido
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Hodges, R.W. et al., eds. 1983. Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. E.W. Classey Limited and The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, London. 284 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B83HOD01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Everes comyntas
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Jun2016
Global Status Last Changed: 01Sep1998
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread in eastern U.S., Mexico, and Central America.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (01Sep1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (14Jun2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S5?), Arizona (SNR), Arkansas (S5), California (SNR), Colorado (S5), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (S2), Georgia (S5), Idaho (SNR), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S5), Iowa (S5), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S5), Maine (S5), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (S5), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (S5), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (S5), Montana (SNR), Nebraska (S5), Nevada (SNR), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (S5), New Mexico (SNR), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S5), Oregon (SNR), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (S5), South Carolina (S5), South Dakota (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Texas (SNR), Vermont (S5), Virginia (S5), Washington (S2S3), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (S5), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada British Columbia (S2S3), Manitoba (S4), New Brunswick (S2), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S4), Saskatchewan (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: S. Canada south to Central America, east of the Rockies. Also occurs west of the Rockies, although spottily.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Very abundant.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Subspecies texanus in Texas purportedly endangered.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Has adapted easily to human activity; thrives in disturbed environments.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) S. Canada south to Central America, east of the Rockies. Also occurs west of the Rockies, although spottily.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada BC, MB, NB, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Jackson (12063), Liberty (12077), Nassau (12089), Okaloosa (12091), Santa Rosa (12113), Walton (12131)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 St. Marys (03070204)+, Apalachicola (03130011)+, Chipola (03130012)+, Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102)+, Yellow (03140103)+, Blackwater (03140104)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: Butterfly, Lycaenidae.
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: A great variety of open, brushy to lightly wooded, generally dry, habitats with any of the many native and exotic legumes used by the larvae.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Lycaenidae in part: Most Blues

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the taxon occurs, or has recently occurred, where there is potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a place where an adult (or for a few taxa could be a larva) has been verified in association with sufficient habitat and foodplant to sustain a population or (most high quality occurrences) a metapopulation. Occurrences ranked higher than D should have the species every year. With metapopulations a patch of foodplant in habitat is part of the occurrence even if temporarily vacant (e.g. small patches after fires). For migratory or widely vagrant taxa designatiing occurrences north where the species can survive the winter is not appropriate.
Mapping Guidance: Consult habitat and foodplant comments fields for species-specific information on what constitutes suitable habitat when mapping occurrences for individual species.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: When multiple colonies occur in the same edaphic feature or community, e.g. in a canyon, along a stream, or in large pine barrens or oak savannas, all such colonies separated from the nearest neighbor by less than 10 kilometers should be treated as a single metapopulation occurrence. Often the overall community or feature can be used to define boundaries.
Separation Justification: Even casual observation shows that many taxa are excellent colonizers, quickly finding and exploiting new habitats. EVERES COMYNTAS is an especially good example but many of the prairie and other grassland taxa are probably similar. There are many data for the US Endangered Karner Blue (which has its own Specs but is still illustrative) and these clearly show a pattern of high patch occupancy in metapopulations, inability of isolated colonies to persist, and good short range colonization up to km or two with rare movements of a few kilometers (but <5) repeatedly actually documented. GLAUCOPSYCHE LYGDAMUS COUPERI has been shown to be expanding its range south at around 10 km per year with only one brood per year. Some taxa immigrate annually well north of their permanent ranges.

At least within basically suitable, often grassy or brushy habitat these butterflies are good dispersers and healthy metapopulations generally occupy nearly all habitat. However, some of the taxa apparently do not readily move substantial distances across really unsuitable habitat, especially tall forests. However E. COMYNTAS shows up in forests in spring before the canopy leafs out. That one probably, and the Karner Blue definitely, at time flies over wooded terrain but probably not very far.

Thus short unsuitable habitat distance seems appropriate for defining occurrences despite dispersal since colonies are local, even though such a distance does not preclude some gene flow. At least for better known taxa there is little chance two collections 10 km apart separated mainly by suitable to marginal habitat could represent two occurrences, although for many taxa suitable habitat is rarely to never that extensive. Also some practical limit is needed.

It is not at all clear the Specs are reasonable for arid land taxa such as EUPHILOTES and relatives which may not be nearly as dispersive as familiar common taxa or the Karner Blue which evolved with a dynamic habitat type.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Usually the inferred extent will simply be all contiguous or closely proximate habitat and most patches are a few hundred hectares or much less. However, when the habitat is extensive it should generally be considered occupied--as with most Lepidoptera. Still since these butterflies can be local and what the observer thinks is suitable may in fact not all be, a maximum radius of km is suggested when dealing with limited information. This radius is applied only to suitable habitat.
Date: 25Sep2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Jun1987
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Opler, P.A.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15May2001

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Hodges, R.W. et al., eds. 1983. Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. E.W. Classey Limited and The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, London. 284 pp.

  • Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.

  • Pelham, J. P. 2008. A catalogue of the butterflies of the United States and Canada with a complete bibliography of the descriptive and systematic literature. The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. Volume 40. 658 pp.

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