Silvery Blue Butterfly

Photo by: Bryan Reynolds

0 Weeks
Maximum lifespan of an adut Silvery Blue Butterfly.

Glaucopsyche lygdamus

The Silvery Blue Butterfly is known for its silvery blue wings. Males have narrow dark borders, where the females have wider borders. The underside of them are a gray-brown, and their wingspan is 7/8 – 1 1/4 inches. The blue on the females and the size of their black dots vary, but both sexes have white fringe. They live in many locations, from open woods to the side of the road and can be found all the way from Central Alaska south to southern California, to western Kansas and along northern United States east to Nova Scotia and south to Georgia. A Silvery Blue Butterfly can exist happily from open woodland, flowery meadows, and sometimes in small waste areas in cities.

When searching for a mate, males actively fly around the host plants in search for a female. Their eggs are laid on the flower bud and young leaves so that the new larvae can eat the emerging flowers. Often a single plant, or leaflet, hosts several eggs. Larvae are Lycaenid in shape and are tended to by the ants in the area. Coloring varies by habitat, foodplant, and subspecies. Pupas are covered by debris or transported to ant nests on the ground during pupation. Hibernation occurs as a pupa.

There is a single brood that flies from March to June at low elevations, and from June-August at high elevations. A particular flower that provides nectar to the adults is the Asteraceae, however they feed on many legumes. Local populations specialize to the local plant life.

Written by: Christian Newkirk, an undergraduate Environmental Science student at the University of Oklahoma