Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 0.5-1.0" (1.27-2.5 cm).  Male is violet-blue with white fringes on wing edges. Female is brown with blue near the wing bases.  The hindwing of both sexes has dark spots along the margin. The hindwing undesides are white with darker gray bands and two orange-rimmed black eyespots along the outer edge. 

Egg: Blue flattened disc typically laid singly on host plant buds, flower spikes or developing seed pods.

Caterpillar: Varies from green to green with pink or darker green markings. Highly camouflaged with host plant buds and seeds pods.

Chrysalis: Tan with dark brown markings.  Pellet-shaped.

Cassius Blues typically arrive in Alabama by accident, hitching a ride as eggs, caterpillars, or chrysalides on one of their favored host plants, Blue Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata).  Often sold at garden centers and in box stores, Blue Plumbago plants are generally shipped from wholesale nurseries in south Florida where Cassius Blues commonly occur.  

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: Jefferson, Mobile, Perry

  • 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
3 2 1 1 1

Habitat

In Florida, disturbed sites, gardens, parks, forest margins, beach dunes, nurseries.

In Alabama, usually found near gardens or nurseries where plumbago plants are found.

Host and Nectar Plants

In Alabama, Cassius Blues are most often found near Blue Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) plants.

In Flordia, Milkpeas (Galactia spp. ) and Wild Tamarind (Lysiloma latisiliquum) are used in addition to Blue Plumbago.