Home / Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae) / Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)

Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)

Silvery Blue source: ssl.c.photoshelter.com

The Silvery Blue is a species of glossy blue butterflies that are exclusively found in North America in 17 different subspecies (with one being thought to be extinct). These small arthropods are quite common and can be seen basking in the sun almost everywhere.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lycaenidae
  • Genus: Glaucopsyche
  • Scientific Name: Glaucopsyche lygdamus

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

Silvery Blue Butterfly Caterpillar source: bugguide.net

The larva has a small, rugged body, and are green in color with a maroon line running down vertically across the entire body. They are often seen accompanied by ants and spend most of the time feeding on plant leaves. During the summer months, these insects molt several times before they finally pupate.

Pupa

The chrysalis is light brown with faint streaks of darker brown. They hibernate during the winter months and come out as a butterfly only during spring or summer.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Present

Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, the male of the species show a shimmering silver-blue coloration with thin dark borders around the wings, while the borders in the females are wide. The white fringe is present in both the sexes. When the wings are closed, the ventral side shows a grayish brown coloration with both the wings having round dark spots bordered in white.

Glaucopsyche lygdamus source: en.wikipedia.org

Silvery Blue Butterfly source: naba.org

Average wingspan: 18 to 28 mm

Flight pattern: Slow, yet erratic

Eggs

Eggs are laid singly on the floral buds and young leaves of the host plants

Quick Facts

Distribution In North America, starting from Alaska down south to Baja California, in the west, and across the continent to the east till Nova Scotia
Habitat Meadows, open woods, coastal dunes, road edges, prairies, brushy fields, and moist rocky woods
Lifespan of adults 2-3 weeks
Host plants Lotus, Lupinus, Astragalus, Melilotus, Vicia, Oxytropis, Lathyrus, and other species in the pea family
Adult diet Flower nectar, especially Fiddleneck

Did You Know?

  • The males of these butterflies are often seen puddling enthusiastically in groups, even by the hundreds.
  • Silver blues are tolerant of the close approach of humans, and it’s quite easy to photograph them, especially when mating.

Silvery Blue Butterfly Host Plant source: cwf-fcf.org

Silvery Blue Butterfly Images source: butterfly.ucdavis.edu

Silvery Blue Butterfly Pictures source: c1.staticflickr.com

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