Eastern Pygmy-Blue (Brephidium isophthalma [Herrich-Schäffer])
Wing span: 3/4 - 7/8 inch (2 - 2.2 cm).
Identification: Tiny. Upperside copper brown. Underside hindwing and fringes dark brown.
Life history: Males patrol low over the host plants in search of females. Flight is weak and slow.
Flight: May-August in Georgia, throughout the year in Florida. Number of broods has not been determined.
Caterpillar hosts: Annual glassworts (Salicornia species) in the goosefood family (Chenopodiaceae).
Adult food: In Florida, nectar from palmetto palm and saltwort (Batis maritima) flowers.
Habitat: Near saltwater in coastal marshes and tidal flats.
Range: South Carolina south along the Atlantic coastal plain to both coasts of Florida and the Keys, west along the Gulf Coast to Louisiana. Occasionally strays to Texas and inland.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Gerberg, E.J. and Arnett, R.H., Jr. Florida Butterflies. Natural Science Publications, Inc. Baltimore, MD. 90 pp. Kimball, C.P. 1965. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas - Vol. 1: Lepidoptera of Florida. Div. of Plant Industry, State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture. Gainesville, FL. 363 pp. Minno, M.C. and Emmel, T.C. 1993. Butterflies of the Florida Keys. Scientific Publishers. Gainesville, FL. 168 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Smith, D.S., Miller, L.D. and Miller, J.Y. 1994. The Butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford Univ. Press. Oxford, U.K. 264 pp.