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spring azure

spring azure (Celastrina ladon)
Photos © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

The spring azure butterfly has a wingspan of 1.0 inch. The male's upperside is iridescent violet-blue with a black margin and black fringe that becomes checkered with white from top to bottom. The female's upperside is iridescent violet-blue with a wide black border on the outer edge of the wings and the front edge of the forewing. A row of black spots is present on her hindwing. The underside of the wings in both sexes is light gray with dark spots.

The spring azure butterfly is found in woodlands in the state south of Illinois Route 136. Its larvae eat dogwoods (Cornus spp.). The adults feed on nectar and are also often seen on damp areas of soil. One generation per year is produced. The adults are active from late March through mid-May.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae

Illinois Status: common, native