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Arctic Blue Butterfly (Plebejus glandon)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Arctic Blue Butterfly

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Image Credit: Camille T., taken in Angel Fire, NM
Full-sized image of the Arctic-Blue-Butterfly Thumbnail image of the Arctic-Blue-Butterfly
Image Credit: Camille T., taken in Angel Fire, NM
Full-sized image #2 of the Arctic-Blue-Butterfly Thumbnail image #2 of the Arctic-Blue-Butterfly

A mostly pale hindwing sets this Blue apart from its closest relatives.

Updated: 02/15/2023; Authored By ; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Despite its chilly name, the Arctic Blue lives in warm states, too, and can be found as far south as Arizona and New Mexico, albeit in the northern parts of those states. It is found as far north as Alaska and Yukon. Males have gray-brown wings with a blue tint on the top side by the blue body. A single dark spot decorates the middle of each wing. Underneath, wings may be dark or pale gray or taupe. Females have more orange-brown color. Black spots ringed in white on the forewing contrast the empty white rings on the hindwing.

A small butterfly, the Artic Blue is mostly active in the summer months. Look for it on approaching tree lines in mountain fields, meadows, on rocky trails, and tundra. Adults drink nectar, and caterpillars have been found on rock jasmine, saxifrage and pin cushion plants. Only one generation is produced each year.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Arctic-Blue-Butterfly

rock jasmine; saxifrage; pin cushion
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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Lycaenidae
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          Genus: Plebejus
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            Species: glandon
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Plebejus glandon
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 23mm to 27mm (0.90" to 1.06")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue; white; gray; black
Descriptors: dots; white patch; dark border edge; flying; small

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 23mm (0.9in) and 27mm (1.1in)
Lo: 23mm
Md: 25mm
Hi: 27mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Arctic Blue Butterfly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Arctic Blue Butterfly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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