Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)
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.
- Family: Lycaenidae
- Genus: Glaucopsyche
- Scientific Name: Glaucopsyche lygdamus
Description and Identification
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.
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.
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.
Average wingspan: 18 to 28 mm
Flight pattern: Slow, yet erratic
Eggs are laid singly on the floral buds and young leaves of the host plants
|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.