Subject: Butterfly ID
Location: St Petersburg, Florida
November 10, 2012 1:35 pm
I came across your website while researching a butterfly. Yesterday in St Petersburg Florida I took a couple of shots of a small blue butterfly and have searched the web for an ID. It looks to me to be a Miami Blue but I’m not expert on butterflies and was wondering if you could confirm or correct me on what this is. I only got two fairly decent shots of it and here are the links in case the photos are too big to upload.
Signature: S. Hunter Spenceley
Dear S. Hunter,
The Blues can be a very difficult group to correctly identify to the species level. According to BugGuide, the Miami Blue is “Only known US colony is Bahia Honda SP in the Keys. Also in the WI and Cuba.” We believe you encountered a Cassius Blue, Leptotes cassius, based on photos posted to BugGuide where it is described as: “Below, ‘zebra-striped’ pattern and two dark spots on the hind wing, rimmed with orange, are distinctive.
Above, male is purple-blue with a thin black border and white wing fringe, and a faint dark marginal spot on the hind wing. Female is light blue with a broad gray border and two dark marginal wing spots on the hind wing.”
Thank you very much for the response. I looked at the link to BugGuide and the Leptotes looks just like it so I believe it is the Cassius Blue.
Hi again Hunter,
Like we stated earlier, the Blues are a difficult group to identify. There were many similarities between your photos of the Cassius Blue and the Miami Blue. Drilling down to the range produced the doubt that eventually led us to the Cassius Blue as the most likely candidate.