Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 7/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.2 -3.5 cm). Closed wings are medium gray.  Female open wings often display violet shading, which is visible in flight. Markings tend to be delicate.  Typically smaller than Summer Azures.

ID Tip: Look for violet color in flight.

Egg: Blue-green, flattened disc. Placed singly on or near flower buds.

Caterpillar: Variable in color: shades of green, brown,  and pinkish green.  Pale, lateral bands on each back segment allow this caterpillar to blend perfectly with the "true" flowers at the center of a dogwood blossom.

Chrysalis: Light brown and pellet shaped.  It is the overwintering stage.

Spring Azures are woodland butterflies, and they often spiral around their caterpillar host, Flowering Dogwood, a familiar component of many Alabama forests. Spring Azures are univoltine, producing only one generation each year, while their multi-brooded sister species, Summer Azure, produces several.  Identification can be difficult because Summer Azures often produce early-flying spring individuals. 

Distribution and Abundance

A dot on the county map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the species within that county. In some cases, a species may be common throughout the county, in others it may be found in only a specific habitat.

The sightings bar graphs depict the timing of flight(s) within each of three geographic regions. Place your cursor on a bar within the graph to see the number of individuals recorded during that period.

The abundance calendar displays the total number of individuals recorded within each week of the month. Both the graphs and the calendar are on based data collection that began in 2000.

The records analyzed here are only a beginning. As more data is collected, these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama. Submit your sightings to albutterflyatlas@gmail.com.

Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Dallas, DeKalb, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Randolph, Shelby, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa

  • Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Sightings more than 10 years ago
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
11 25 38 77 39 29 44 15 23 17 7 1

Habitat

In or near deciduous woodlands.

Host and Nectar Plants

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) is reported as the host plant and has been verified in Alabama. 

For more information about the documented host plants and/or nectar plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the following links:

Landscaping Ideas

Native dogwoods in the landscape provide larval food for both Spring and Summer Azures. Both species will also nectar on the tiny, true flowers.