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Attributes of Cyclargus thomasi
Cyclargus thomasi (Clench, 1941)
Identification: Upperside mostly blue; female hindwing with orange spot at lower edge. Underside of both sexes with 2 eyespots on the outer margin and a wide white submarginal band.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 3 cm).
Life History: Eggs are laid singly on flower buds of host plant. Caterpillars feed on flowers and may live inside the pods, eating seeds.
Flight: Throughout the year in Florida. Adults are in reproductive diapause during the winter generation from December-April.
Caterpillar Hosts: Balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum) in the Sapindaceae family, possibly snowberry (Chiococca alba), and various legumes.
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Openings and edges of tropical hardwood hammocks.
Range: Florida Keys and West Indies. Formerly in southern peninsular Florida.
Conservation: Loss of habitat due to urbanization has extirpated this butterfly on the Florida mainland. All Florida Keys populations should be protected.
NCGR: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Management Needs: Preserve habitats of balloon vine and nectar sources.