Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Species Plebejus idas - Northern Blue - Hodges#4374

Northern Northern Butterfly or Skipper ? - Plebejus idas - female Blue butterfly - Plebejus idas - male Blue butterfly on Goldenrod - Plebejus idas - male Northern blue - Plebejus idas - male Northern Blue Denali N.P. - Plebejus idas Northern Blue - Plebejus idas
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Lycaenidae (Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Harvesters)
Subfamily Polyommatinae (Blues)
Genus Plebejus
Species idas (Northern Blue - Hodges#4374)
Hodges Number
4374
Explanation of Names
Author: Linnaeus, 1761
Identification
Distinguishable from Anna Blue - Plebejus anna only by more easterly distribution. From other blues by (usually) some marginal orange on ventral hind and front wings. No obvious dark spot on middle of upper front wings of males. In most regions where found, underside tending to bluish gray. Can be very similar to mostly more southern and lowland Melissa Blue - Plebejus melissa (and its segregates), which tends to be slightly grayish or brownish below with markings all more bold and contrasting, and female usually with prominent marginal orange band on all four wings (commonly narrower if present on P. ida).
Range
Northern North America east of Cascades, mostly north of southern Canadian border, lapping into U.S. mostly near Great Lakes, and south to Colorado along high elevation Rocky Mountains. Replaced by P. anna in Cascades and California Sierras west to coast.
New Brunswick; Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia (AWT)
North America as well as Europe and Asia.
Habitat
Bay of Fundy coastal bogs in NB; Upland bogs in CBI.
Food
Ericaceae in the east; legumes of the pea family (Fabaceae) in the west.
Remarks
In the afterword to Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov mentions that he caught the first known female of Lycaeides sublivens Nabokov on the mountain trail he used as the setting for the book's final scene. This butterfly is now considered a subspecies of Plebejus idas according to this page.