Appalachian Azure (Celastrina neglecta-major [Tutt])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inches (3.2 - 3.9 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male all blue. Female without much white scaling on hindwing. Underside of hindwing mostly chalky white with submarginal row reduced to 1 or 3 distinct black spots.
Life history: Caterpillars eat flowers.
Flight: One flight from May-June in the Appalachians.
Caterpillar hosts: Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Rich, deciduous woods, especially near streams.
Range: Central and southern Appalachians from southern Pennsylvania south to northern Georgia. Isolated populations in southwest Missouri, eastern Tennessee, central Kentucky, and southern Ohio.
Conservation: Habitat may be threatened by the spread of garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis).
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: Survey habitats and protect them from alteration and exotic plants.
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.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Allen, T.J. 1997. The Butterflies of West Virginia and Their Caterpillars. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA. 388 pp. 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.