North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Virginia

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:


Glassberg,  J.  1993.  Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to 

     Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region.  Oxford Univ. Press, 

     New York, N.Y.  160 pp.    



Clark, A.H. and Clark, L.F. 1951.  The Butterflies of Virginia.  Smithsonian

     Miscellaneous collection No. 116:1-239.



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.     



Woodbury, E.N.  1994.  Butterflies of Delmarva.  Delaware Nature Society, Inc., 

     Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, MD.  138 pp.  [NOTE: this book only 

     treats True Butterflies (Papilionoidea).  It does not treat Skippers 

     (Hesperioidea).]

Dusky Azure (Celastrina nigra (=ebenina))
distribution map
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