The Lycaenidae Family is referred to as Gossamer-wings. These butterflies are small with narrow bodies and the wings are usually brightly colored. They sometimes have protrusions at the end of their wings that resemble small tails. It is common to see white rings around their antennae and white around their eyes.
Lycaenida Four Subfamiles Includes
- Blues – The Pygmy Blue of the West is the smallest butterfly in the U.S. and comes from the Blues species — the smallest species of this family.
- Coppers – Coppers are abundant in open marshes and meadows.
- Hairstreaks – Hairstreaks boast delicate hairlike extensions on their hind wings. The Brownish Elfins appear in the spring in the northern United States.
- Harvesters – For information read the Harvester Butterfly article by the BugLady, University of Wisconsin.
ID Guide: Lycaenidae Family (Gossamer-wings) Side-by-Side Photo Comparison
Use the side-by-side comparison of the photos below to identify butterflies in the Lycaenidae Family. Click on the butterfly image to see additional photos, descriptions, and its flight range map.