Getting the blues is not something many people think about in April when the
whole world is bursting with new life. However, spring is when some of nature’s
loveliest blues arrive.
Spring Azures are butterflies that appear in the earliest days of spring, from
Canada to Florida. Their Latin scientific name is Celastrina ladon, which can be
loosely translated as Heavenly Spirit. And indeed, watching these baby-blue waifs
flit gracefully along the ground – visiting both flowers and mud puddles – it is easy
to see how they were given such a lofty name.
Males can be distinguished from females by their lighter blue color. Females
come in a slightly darker blue, but the blue is only visible when they are flying.
Luckily for us, they fly so low to the ground that we normally see them while
looking down from above as they fly by. When they perch, they fold their wings
over their back and all you see is the whitish underside of the wing with a few
black spots.
Both sexes have big, black shiny eyes and long antennae with zebra black-and-
white stripes. Of course, these features can only be seen if you look at them
through a good pair of binoculars. After all, their wingspan is only an inch wide.
In keeping with their small size, they have a very short proboscis (tongue), so they
can’t reach nectar from very many species of flowers.
The Spring Azure has one of the shortest lifecycles of any butterfly. Adults only
live for two to five days, but since there are several generations, you can see
them from March through May. Once summer arrives, they are replaced by a
related species, the Summer Azure, which has a slightly longer lifespan.
Enjoy getting the blues in springtime!

by Susan McSwain for FoN