Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.2 - 3.2 cm). The upperside of the male is iridescent silvery blue with narrow dark borders; the female is darker blue with wide borders. Both sexes have white fringe. The underside is gray-brown; both wings have a row of white-ringed, round black spots.

ID Tip: Row of round, white-rimmed spots on ventral wings

Egg: Pale blue-green, laid singly on buds or tender growth of host plant.

Caterpillar: Gray green with a dark green dorsal stripe and white dashes.  May be suffused with red. Reported to turn reddish prior to pupation.

Chrysalis:  Light brown.  Probably attached to debris at the bottom of host plant. It is the overwintering stage.

Silvery Blues are most likely to occur in small colonies in Alabama’s northeastern mountains, although historical records indicate they may also occupy more southern areas. They are habitat specialists, and their only flight is synchronized with the springtime bloom of their favored host plant, Carolina Vetch. In fact, the best way to look for Silvery Blues is to locate a healthy colony of Carolina Vetch and hope that in when its flowers appear in early spring, these tiny blue butterflies visit them.

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 High Count information shows the highest numbers recorded for this species as well as when and where they occurred.

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

Sightings in the following counties: Clay, Cleburne, Jackson

  • Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Sightings more than 10 years ago

High count(s):

  • 1 - Cleburne - 4/20/2014
  • 1 - Jackson - 4/24/2014
  • 1 - Clay - 3/29/2015
County Distribution Map

View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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Rich, moist deciduous woodlands

Host and Nectar Plants

Plants in the Pea family (Fabaceae), especially Carolina Vetch (Vicia caroliniana). Carolina Vetch has not yet been verified in Alabama but is strongly suspected.

Landscaping Ideas