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Azure sp.
Azure Azure Butterfly  

Azure sp.

Photos © Kim Hosen
Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area, Nokesville, VA; August 2009

Summer Azure
Celaestrina neglecta
Wingspan: 7/8 to 1 3/8 inch

These small azure-blue butterflies are distinguished from the Eastern-tailed Blue by the absence of both the "tails" and the orange spot on the hindwing.

Summer Azure caterpillars feed on a variety of shrubby Dogwoods (not Cornus florida which is toxic to the caterpillars) in late spring. The late summer flight feeds primarily on Wingstem in this region. In the mountains, they use Black Cohosh in late spring.

Pale green eggs with white ridges are laid singly on the buds of host plants.

Although males sometimes patrol close to the ground near host plants, the Azures are usually seen flying higher through the edges of tree canopies and in open areas.

Look for these pretty butterflies from early May through August in a variety of habitats, from suburban areas to woodlands.