spring azure (Celastrina "ladon")
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Lycaenidae)
SUBFAMILY: Blues (Polyommatinae)
IDENTIFICATION: Seasonally variable and sexually dimorphic.
Upperside of males blue, females with some black at outer edge
of forewing. Late spring and summer forms with white above.
Underside hindwing gray-white with faded small black dots,
darker gray with larger black spots, or with blotches and black
margins in the center.
LIFE HISTORY: Males patrol and perch all day but are most active
from midafternoon until dusk. Eggs are laid on flower buds.
Caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits and are tended by ants.
FLIGHT: Many broods from January-October along the Gulf Coast;
progressively shorter flights northward; May-August in Canada.
WING SPAN: 7/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.2 -3.5 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Flowers of a variety of woody shrubs and
occasionally herbs including dogwood (Cornus florida), New Jersey
tea (Ceanothus americana), meadowsweet (Spiraea salicifolia), and
ADULT FOOD: Flower nectar from dogbane, privet, New Jersey tea,
blackberry, common milkweed, and many others.
HABITAT: Openings and edges of deciduous woods, old fields, wooded
freshwater marshes and swamps.
RANGE: Alaska and Canada south of the tundra through most of the
United States except the Texas coast, southern plains, and peninsular
Florida; south in the mountains to Columbia.
CONSERVATION: This species comprises a complex of 4-5 separate
species, some of which may be of conservation concern.
NATURESERVE GLOBAL STATUS: Not reported
MANAGEMENT NEEDS: None reported. Note: In addition to the
Appalachian Azure, Atlantic Holly Azure, Dusky Azure, and Hops
Azure, this "species" is in reality still a complex of additional species
whose identity is under current research. At present it is not possible
to separate all of the records for these species into individual species
maps. We look forward to doing this in the future.
SKY MEADOWS OCCURRENCE:
Note: Due to seasonal conditions in this region, occurrence may vary from
year to year. The designation of occurrence may range over two or more
categories and may vary even during a single season.
Key to Checklist
A Abundant: Easy to see very large numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
C Common: Usually each to see good numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
U Uncommon: Sometimes found in appropriate habitat and proper time of year,
usually in low numbers.
O Occasional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times a year, usually
in low numbers.
R Rare: Small chance of being found, even in appropriate habitat at proper time of
year. There are few individuals and may not be present every year.
X Extirpated: Formerly present, no longer occurs in Sky Meadows Park.
Crooked Run Valley