Eumaeus Atala(Coontie Hairstreak) -Male
Eumaeus Atala(Coontie Hairstreak) -Male -Southeast Florida, USA -(1.5 in wingspan).
Found in Southeast Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands.
The Males can be either an iridescent blue(Summer Form) or teal green(Winter Form).
The larvae feed exclusively on the Coontie plant (Zamia integrifolia), a species of cycad, and in doing so ingest a toxin which makes it distasteful to predators which is why they are so brightly colored(Aposematic).
Around 1890 the Eumaeus Atala(Coontie Hairstreak) were very common in Southeast Florida as the Coontie plants were very common.
But then the Coontie plants were over harvested for their roots to produce starch, which nearly eradicated these plants.
Consequently, the Coontie Hairstreak were nearly eradicated and was thought to be extinct from 1937 until 1959.
Thanks to scientists and the general public, the Coontie Hairstreak are now thriving again as the Coontie plants have now returned to Southeast Florida.