Currently viewing the category: "Gossamer Wings"
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Blue (Subfamily Polyommatinae) Butterfly Indentifcation Help
Hello to the Bugman and friends,
I took this picture about a year ago. I believe it is a member of the Gossamer Wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae), specifically of the Blues (Subfamily Polyommatinae). I am unsure of the species though. If it helps to narrow down specific species, this picture was taken in Bellingham, Washington. I saw a posting about similar species on your wonderful website already, but the picture was of a newly hatched specimen. Hopefully my attached picture would be of some help. Thank you for the help.

Hi Jonathan,
What a beautiful photo. We believe this is a female Spring Azure, Celastrina ladon, but the Blues are very difficult for us to distinguish from one another. It might take a genius like Vladimir Nabokov to disect their tiny genitalia to be certain.

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Moth or Butterfly on Butterfly Weed
I went up to the farm Missouri) with my husband and found this insect on a butterfly weed plant. I was wondering what sort of insect this is? I like it black and white face and antenna. Thanks Mary There are actually two insects here ( mating?) but this photo is the clearest of the actual insect.
Jackie and Mary

Dear Jackie and Mary
Your butterfly is a member of the Gossamer Winged Butterflies in the Family Lycaenidae, more specifically one of the Blues in the Subfamily Polyommatinae. We are guessing either the genus Plebejus or Lycaeides. There is much variation in coloration in local populations within the same species. Most larvae feed on legumes including lupines, rattleweed and clover. The Lycaean Blues are the group of butterflies that fascinated the great author Vladimir Nabokov.

Thanks Thank you for your quick reply and the information about the identification of the butterfly and the information about the author. I have just started in photography and have found that now I am becoming very interested in the names of insects and wildflowers. I did find a pretty clear photo that shows the other butterfly. Thanks again

Your photos are very nice Mary, We surely appreciate the latest romantic image. Is it any wonder the author of Lolita was so besmitten with these lovely creatures?

Ed. Note: We just received the following correction.
misIDed pictures Hi, I love the pictures on your site, I noticed a couple of mistakes in the identification of two pictures. It is a Lycaenid, however the species is definitely Harkenclenus titus, the Coral Hairstreak, which is a beautiful tailless hairstreak, and is quite uncommon in my experience.

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