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Butterflies of Kentucky -- Celastrina nigra (=ebenina)

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Kentucky

Dusky Azure (Celastrina nigra (=ebenina))
JPG -- species photo

Dusky Azure (Celastrina nigra Edwards)

Wing span: 7/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.2 - 3.2 cm).

Identification: Upperside of male gray-black; female dark with areas of gray-blue. Underside of hindwing with prominent black spots in submarginal row.

Life history: Males patrol for females. Eggs are laid singly under young leaflets of host plant. Caterpillars feed on leaves and chrysalids hibernate.

Flight: One brood from April-May.

Caterpillar hosts: Goat's beard (Aruncus dioicus) in the rose family.

Adult food: Flower nectar, including wild geranium.

Habitat: Shady and moist deciduous woods.

Range: Southern Appalachians, Ohio River Valley, central Illinois, and northwest Arkansas.

Conservation: Habitats may be threatened by the spread of garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis) in the mustard family.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: Protect habitats from alteration and invasion by exotic plants.

References:

Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the  Great Plains. Johns 
    Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates.

Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern  butterflies. Peterson 
    field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co.,  Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford  University Press, 
    Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Covell, Charles.  1998.  The Butterflies and Moths (Lepidoptera) of Kentucky: 
     an Annotated Checklist.  Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, 
     Frankfort, KY.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp.
     
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.      
Dusky Azure (Celastrina nigra (=ebenina))
distribution map
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