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Spring Azure (Celestrina ladon)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Spring Azure

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Image Credit: Arch Baker
Full-sized image of the Spring-Azure-Butterfly Thumbnail image of the Spring-Azure-Butterfly
Image Credit: Kathleen M., taken in Windsor, MA
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Image Credit: Kathleen M., taken in Windsor, MA
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Differences in color, shade, and pattern within the Spring Azure species complicate its identification almost as much as the similarities to cousins.

Updated: 05/13/2023; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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. Light blue, gray, white, and taupe are all possible color variations. 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. They typically mate in mid-afternoon and evening. Females can raise many broods in one year. 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.

Caterpillars are shaped like wide, flat slugs, not tubes. They eat flower parts from 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 remain there over the winter and emerge in late April.©InsectIdentification.org

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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: Celestrina
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            Species: ladon

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Celestrina ladon
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 35mm (0.86" to 1.37")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: blue; gray; black; white
Descriptors: flying; spotted

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 22mm (0.9in) and 35mm (1.4in)
Lo: 22mm
Md: 28.5mm
Hi: 35mm

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 Spring Azure 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 Spring Azure. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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