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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Summer Azure
Celastrina neglecta  EDWARDS, 1862
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - POLYOMMATINAE
Tribe -
Celastrina neglecta, Indiana, USA   Chris Orpin
Introduction
The genus Celastrina comprises of between 25-30 species. The genus is centred on China but there are representatives from places as far apart as Siberia, north Africa, the Himalayas, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea.
The commonest and most widespread species argiolus occurs from sub-Arctic regions of Siberia to the Atlas mountains in north Africa, and is also recorded from the Philippines although phylogenetic analysis may prove there to be more than one species involved.
The undersides of all species have a similar pattern although the intensity, colour and configuration of the markings varies according to species. Males are metallic blue on the upperside with a narrow black apex. In females the blue colouration is paler and more silvery and is limited to the hindwings and the basal two-thirds of the forewings.
Celastrina neglecta and most of the other North American Celastrina species were formerly thought to be subspecies of the Holly Blue argiolus but have since been reclassified as individual species.
The precise distribution of neglecta is uncertain due to past confusion with other Celastrina species but it seems likely that the butterfly is present in most states of the USA.
Habitats
This species is found in open deciduous woodland.
Lifecycle
The eggs are pale bluish-green and are laid singly on the flowerbuds of the larval foodplants which include Spiraea ( Rosaceae ) and Amphicarpaea ( Fabaceae ). The larva produces several colour forms, all of which can result from the eggs of a single female laid on the same plant. One form is white with a broken reddish dorsal stripe; another is pale green with a dark green dorsal stripe that has oblique white dashes along either side; and another is dull reddish with a dark red dorsal stripe that has oblique white dashes either side of it. The larvae feed diurnally on the flowerbuds, sepals and petals of the plants.
Adult behaviour

Both sexes commonly bask on bushes or low herbage with their wings held half-open. They nectar at a wide range of flowers, and males imbibe mineralised moisture from damp soil.

 

 

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