Cheryl Harner's Flora and Butterfly Blog
Weedpicker's Journal: Discover the native plants of Ohio and the butterflies that utilize them.
Summer Azure July 28, 2008

Depending on whether you are a "lumper" or a "splitter" this Summer Azure is often lumped in with Spring Azure. Everyone agrees they are closely related and most easily distinguished by the month of the year. Earliest Azures are known as Spring Azures, while those occurring from June on can be called Summer Azure. Glassberg's Butterflies through Binoculars still lumps, while Daniel's Butterflies of Ohio "splits" them out.

Either way, they are an under appreciated butterfly to be sure. The common bluebird of butterflies, Azures' phosphorescent blue colors flash in flight, only to disappear when wings fold. The pale silver underside has variable markings, and lacks the orange of their cousins, the Eastern Taileds Blues and Karner Blues.

Their larva are much more generalist in their feeding habits, as they feed upon the flower buds of many trees. Perhaps this is one reason they are frequent fliers, and undoubtedly a boon to the food chain. If you like birds, you should love the Azures, certainly a staple of many a warbler's diet.

Take time to admire some, and you'll note the females are more deeply colored, with a darker boarder. Although among the smallest of leps, these little woodland and field edge fliers are worth a moment of your admiration.

2008-07-28 11:39:37 GMT
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