The family Lycaenidae is a large and varied worldwide group that has 4,000 to 6,000
species depending on the ever-changing taxonomic flux. They are collectively called
Gossamer Butterflies or Gossamer Wings. The family is further divided into eight
subfamilies. The first is the Theclinae which includes the Hairstreaks, Sunstreaks,
Elfins and others. The second is the Polyommatinae which includes the Blues, Azures,
Arguses, Caeruleans and others. The third subfamily is the Lycaeninae which includes
the Coppers, Sapphires, Silverlines and others. The forth is the Poritiinae which
includes the gems. The fifth is the Miletinae which includes the Brownies, Harvesters,
Darkies, Apeflies and others. The sixth is the Curetinae which includes the Sunbeams.
The seventh family is the Lipteninae which includes about 500 tropical rainforest
gossamer wings. The eighth and final subfamily is the Liphyrinae and includes the
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Cupido comyntas belongs to the subfamily Polyommatinae. This butterfly’s range is
throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and southeast Canada as well as parts of
California then south to Costa Rica.Costa Rica. This species can be found in most
any sunny area from fields, edges of woods, vacant lots, gardens, roadsides and along
lakes, rivers and ponds.
The larval food sources are many and include plants in the pea family including yellow
sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis), alfalfa (Medicago sativa) as well as various
species of vetch (Vicia sp.), clover (Trifolium sp.), wild pea (Lathyrus sp.) and
bush clover (Lespedeza sp.). Males patrol near the host plants during daylight hours.
Females lay eggs on flower buds and caterpillars eat buds, flowers and seeds. The
caterpillar hibernates, pupating the following spring.