‘Spring’ Spring Azure

Celastrina ladon ladon

The ‘Spring’ Spring Azures are among the first butterflies seen in spring that have not hibernated over winter as an adult. In the leafless woodland it is easy to see the bright blue upper wings of these butterflies as they fly in search of mates, or food. Like most Gossamer-winged Butterflies, these butterflies rarely land with the wings open and after noting the spectacular blues of the in-flight butterflies; it is sometimes hard to spot them when they land.

This subspecies is listed as the Northern Azure (C. lucia) on the Butterflies and Moths of North America web site.

Weekly sightings for ‘Spring’ Spring Azure

Identifying characteristics

Above, the both the male and female are bright blue with the female having a wide black border. Below the ‘Spring’ Spring Azure is darker gray with a variety of spots. There are several color forms of this taxa that have historically been discussed in most field guides. Form “marginata” which has a darker, brownish margin like the second photo, is common throughout central Wisconsin while form “lucia” is similar with some darker spots in the middle of the hindwing below, but is basically similar in ground coloration.

Similar species

In Wisconsin the ‘Summer’ Spring Azure is very similar but is much whiter below with smaller black markings. In open woodland areas a blue butterfly flying could very well be any of the other species of Blue. The Azures are more likely to be seen flying higher in the trees than the more ground loving Blues.

Habitat

A variety of habitats from woodland edge and trails to city parks.

Flight

One brood. The first ‘Spring’ Spring Azures appear in April and through May and into early June.

Abundance

A fairly common butterfly that may be found mud puddling in larger numbers, but is often found flying singly along the woodland edges.

Recent ‘Spring’ Spring Azure Sightings

Date County Reported by
Aug 10, 2019 Milwaukee Jennifer Ambrose

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for 'Spring' Spring Azure
Map key
'Spring' Spring AzureClick to enlarge

Bowers Creek Fishery Area, Waushara Co., WI. April 27, 2008.

'Spring' Spring AzureClick to enlarge

Male

Bowers Creek Fishery Area, Waushara Co., WI. April 27, 2008.

'Spring' Spring AzureClick to enlarge

Female

Jackson Co., WI. May 21, 2008

'Spring' Spring AzureClick to enlarge

Hardscrabble SNA, Lafayette Co., WI. April 14, 2006.

'Spring' Spring AzureClick to enlarge

Willow Creek Fisheries Area, Southeast of Wild Rose, Waushara Co., WI. April 20, 2006.

'Spring' Spring AzureClick to enlarge

North of Wild Rose, Waushara Co., WI. April 10, 2005.

'Spring' Spring AzureClick to enlarge

Sorenson Natural Area, Waushara Co., WI. April 24, 2005.

'Spring' Spring AzureClick to enlarge

Hunter Haven Rd., Jackson Co., WI. April 28, 2007.