Spring Azure

Place name abbreviations: MPEA - Middle Patuxent Environment Area; PRSP - Patuxent River State Park; PVSP - Patapsco River Valley State Park.

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Legend:

Common name [Link is to BAMONA] (wingspan range in inches) Occurrence level & flight period.
Habitat. Typically visits (for nectaring). Larval host plants.

Spring Azure (0.8–1.4") Common: E-Apr to E-May Woods trails & edges Mud puddles Dogwood, wild cherry
Spring Azure

Female
April 14, 2013
Ellicott City
Kurt Schwarz

Single brood, but long
individual adult emergence period

Spring Azure

Male
April 19, 2014
Western Regional Park
Annette Allor

"[These] are great in that they show the upperside. Those are ladon (Spring Azure). Great shots, Annette! The one with closed wings [left] shows a peak of that 'greasy' shine of male ladon. The flying male [right] is also a give-away, with a bright reflectance and the white wing veins along the leading edge of the forewing are smeared with white. In neglecta [Summer Azure], those veins are crisp, whitish against a solid blue ground color."—eMail from Harry Pavulaan.

Spring Azure

Male
April 19, 2014
Western Regional Park
Annette Allor

How to you distinguish a Spring Azure from a spring form Summer Azure?

According to Harry Pavulaan, the Azure expert, the Spring Azures are a more violet-blue above, the spring form Summer Azures a more azure-blue. However, since they both always perch with their wings closed, you can only tell the shade of blue while they are flying—which is not so easy to photograph. They can both be flying at the same time in the spring. Spring Azures use Flowering Dogwood and Wild Black Cherry for larval host; Summer Azures use other dogwood species, viburnums, and even sumacs. Thus, the technique would be to find a place with some Flowering Dogwoods (or Wild Black Cherry), a lot of Azure species flying around, and then look for representatives with a darker blue shade while it is flying. If you want a picture, then snap one of a specimen after it has perched and that appeared violet blue while it was flying. (I never said this was easy...)—Dick Smith