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Celastrina argiolus? - Celastrina - female

Celastrina argiolus? - Celastrina - Female
Elm Creek park reserve, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
June 28, 2009
Size: smallish
There were a lot of these flying around a dirt path by the edge of a woodsy area. I only got the one open-wing shot; luckily it turned out reasonably good! I didn't even realize at the time that it's apparently quite difficult to catch these guys with their wings open.

Peterson's Field Guide to Butterflies has this butterfly labeled as the summer form of Celastrina argiolus, common name Spring Azure. A Google search of "celastrina argiolus" turns up a bunch of results about the Holly Azure. Both of those names appear to be different species here on BugGuide, and there is no page for argiolus. Is it still a recognized species? Or is it now called something else?

Images of this individual: tag all
Celastrina argiolus? - Celastrina - female Celastrina argiolus? - Celastrina

I hope you are still checking in
I see nobody answered your question about C. argiolus.

The name was actually given to a Eurasian insect. However, for many years it was thought that ours were all the same variable species with a wide range across two continents. However, now it is thought by many people that none our "Azures" are the same as any of those found in Eurasia, and the name C. argiolus has been dropped for all of ours. Another development is that the idea of all of ours being the same species has changed. It is now understood that we have some populations that are definitely distinct species with different coloration and other characteristics that make them recognizable, and that do not interbreed with one another. There are also lots of populations that use different food plants, or seem to appear at different seasons, but that are not easy to draw lines between. Right now seems to be a phase of learning and naming, and many new names are being given to such populations as if they are really new species. Some likely are, and many likely are not. There has been much study, but needs to be much much more before these Blues are fully understood. To add to the confusion, they are variable in coloring and patterning within populations, and different "broods" of the same population may look quite different (probably the coloring and pattern is affected by things like day length, temperature, and even humidity). So, right now, to sort them out based on photographs alone, is very difficult. Especially since there are varied and conflicting opinions on what is going on. [Personally, I think there are few very adaptable and highly varied species - non many. I also have no problem with the idea that some of ours really could be the same as some of the Eurasian species.]

So basically what it comes down to is, the experts are nearly as confused as I am. Better leave this ID at the genus level for now (though I'll keep it labeled with argiolus in my photo collection; stick to the outdated but more stable taxonomy).

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