Differences in color, shade, and pattern within the Spring Azure species complicate its identification almost as much as its similarities to close cousins.
The Spring Azure Butterfly resembles many other close relatives. It differs from other species in the Celestrina genus on its underwing. There is no orange spot along the hindwing on them and its markings are thin and linear. It also has many subspecies and variations making identification a bit more complicated than other butterflies. Males are attracted to moisture and have been found congregating at mud puddles. They have also been seen visiting streams and even moist animal dung and carrion. Females can raise many broods in one year.
Caterpillars are shaped like wide, flat slugs, not tubes. They eat flower parts of a variety of shrubs like dogwood and blueberry, and eventually secrete a sweet substance on themselves that attracts ants. It is thought that the presence of many ants on it provides protection from predators like birds or other insects. They pupate in the ground and over winter. They emerge in late April and typically mate in mid-afternoon and evening.
Look for Spring Azure Butterflies around and along roadsides, forest edges and areas with abundant shrubs through the summer and into fall. They are attracted to lights at night.
Scientific Name: Celestrina ladon
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 35mm (0.86in to 1.37in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.