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summer azure [female]

summer azure (Celastrina neglecta) [female]
Photos © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

The summer azure butterfly has a wingspan of 1.0 to 1.3 inches. The male's upperside is iridescent blue-violet with the hindwing either exactly the same as the forewing or white-blue. The male's hindwing usually has a blue band trimmed in black along the outer margin. The wing fringe is black on the forewing changing to white on the hindwing. The upperside of the female's forewing is iridescent violet-blue with a wide, dark margin. The upperside of her hindwing has a row of dark spots, and some of the color is white. The underside of the wings of both sexes is pale, white-gray with black spots.

The summer azure lives statewide in all habitats. The larvae eat a variety of host plants. The adults feed on flower nectar. Multiple generations are produced per year. Adults are active from March to October. This species overwinters in the chrysalis stage.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native