Reakirt's Blue (Echinargus isola)
The Reakirt’s Blue is a beautiful little blue butterfly with a diverse list of host plants. It has developed a symbiotic relationship with as many as 13 species of ants. The ants protect the caterpillars in return for a sweet substance secreted from the caterpillar.
When the time comes to pupate, the caterpillar will crawl into the ants’ nest for protection but only has a mere 2 minutes to escape once it emerges as a butterfly. These fascinating butterflies are a joy in the garden as they quickly move from flower to flower.