Summer Azure Celastrina neglecta (W.H. Edwards, 1862)  


Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta) is part of the treacherous azure complex, which contains a number of small blue butterflies of the genus Celastrina, and some of the most challenging butterfly species to identify in the field. In spite of its name, Summer Azure actually begins flying in late March in Maryland, and continues, through multiple broods, into October (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith).


This species is very similar to Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) but differs subtly in scale pattern, and males possess androconia scales on the forewings, which ladon lacks. The spring and summer forms of neglecta ('Summer') differ somewhat in the appearance of the underside, with spring individuals more strongly marked with black, while later broods are much whiter. The upperside of neglecta is brighter blue, without the faint milky or violet cast shown by Spring Azure. There is a wealth of information on this confusing complex on Rick Borchelt's blog (


Uses viburnums, shrubby dogwoods (Cornus sp.), Wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia), American Holly (Ilex opaca), Black Baneberry (Actaea racemosa), and many other plants as larval hosts.

There are 375 records in the project database.

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A Summer Azure in Baltimore City, Maryland (7/22/2016). Photo by Martha Johnston. (MBP list)

A female Summer Azure in Howard Co., Maryland (5/28/2013). Photo by Annette Allor. (MBP list)

Impressive size difference between two Summer Azures in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/19/2008). Photo by Steve Collins. (MBP list)

A spring form Summer Azure in Harford Co., Maryland (4/2/2017). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

A Summer Azure in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (3/26/2018). Determined by Rick Borchelt. Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)

A Summer Azure puddle party in Garrett Co., Maryland (6/22/2019). Photo by Josh Emm. (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)

A Summer Azure in Talbot Co., Maryland (6/14/2014). Photo by Jared Satchell. (MBP list)

A Summer Azure caterpillar in Montgomery Co., Maryland (8/6/2017). Photo by Bob Cammarata. (MBP list)

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