Tiny butterfly with a wingspan up to 5/8 inch. The upperside of the wings is copper brown; the underside of the hindwing and the fringes are dark brown. There are four black eyespots on the margin of the hindwing. The caterpillar is very small, slug-like, and bright green with a black head, faint markings and very small hairs. The pupa is typically yellowish-brown, with dark brown spots.
Southern United States, north to South Carolina and west to Texas; Bahamas.
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Locally uncommon; adults and caterpillars present February-November in most of Florida and all year in South Florida. Abundance varies from season to season and year to year.
Coastal marshes and tidal flats.
Three or more broods per year. The flat, whitish or pale bluish-green eggs are laid on the stems of host plants.
Eastern pygmy-blues are weak, slow fliers. They rarely open their wings when perched. Males fly low over host plants, searching for females. Caterpillars may be tended by ants.
Native larval host plants include saltwort (Batis maritima), annual glasswort (Salicornia bigelovii) and perennial glasswort (Sarcocornia perennis). Native nectar plants include saltwort (Batis maritima) and Spanish-needles (Bidens alba var. radiata).
Gann, G.D., M.E. Abdo, J.W. Gann, G.D. Gann, Sr., S.W.
Woodmansee, K.A. Bradley, E. Grahl and K.N. Hines. 2005-2016. Natives For Your Neighborhood. http://www.regionalconservation.org.
The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida USA.