Spring Azure Celastrina ladon (Cramer, 1780)

Status:

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) is part of the infamous azure complex, which contains some of the most challenging eastern butterflies to identify to species. A number of populations are separated temporally, or by host plant association, but may occur sympatrically at the same locality. Several new species have been described in recent years, and more may await. Spring Azure (s. l.) formerly included a number of these distinct populations, but many have now been determined to be distinct species. This species, as currently defined, flies from early April to early May in Maryland (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith).

Description:

Under microscopic examination, the scalation of the male upperwing is distinctive. The male of ladon is unique among our blue azure species in lacking the scent-producing androconia scale patches. The appearance of the blue upperwing also differs subtly from the spring form of Summer Azure, and may appear more violet in hue (various pages on Rick Borchelt's fantastic blog https://leplog.wordpress.com/).

Where to find:

Occurs commonly during flight period in forest and openings.

Relationships:

This species apparently uses dogwoods (genus Cornus), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), and blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith).

There are 114 records in the project database.

GA AL WA FR CL MO HO BA BCHA CE PG AA CV CH SM KE QA CN TA DO WI SO WO 
A Spring Azure in Baltimore Co., Maryland (3/30/2007). Photo by Steve Collins. (MBP list)

A Spring Azure in Allegany Co., Maryland (4/17/2013). Photo by Annette Allor. (MBP list)

A Spring Azure in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/26/2015). Identification verified by Harry Pavulaan. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

A Spring Azure in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/26/2015). Identification verified by Harry Pavulaan. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

A comparison of a male Spring Azure and a male spring form of Summer Azure (4/26/2014). Photo by Richard Orr. (MBP list)


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