Subject: Possibly Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)
Geographic location of the bug: Silverdale, WA
Time: 12:00 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I think I have correctly ID’d this as a Spring Azure! Hope you enjoy the photo, and as always, it’s been a pleasure visiting your site.
How you want your letter signed: Bug aficionado
Dear Bug aficionado,
Thanks for the compliment and thank you for submitting your wonderful image of what we are going to have to disagree is a Spring Azure, because according to BugGuide, the range of the Spring Azure does not extend that far west. Our best guess is that this is an Echo Azure, Celastrina echo, because, according to BugGuide: “Most western Azures have been classified as belonging to this species name. Where this species and more easterly ranging species meet, and how to tell them apart is not well presented in literature as of yet.” Of the four subspecies of Echo Azures documented on BugGuide, both the Pacific Azure, Celastrina echo echo, and the Northwestern Azure, Celastrina echo nigrescens, are reported from Washington. Based on this BugGuide image, we would lean to the Pacific Azure. We find differentiating the Blues to be especially challenging.