Spring (Echo) Azure

Celastrina echo

Appearance: Underside of hindwing grayish blue to brownish with a scattering of short black bars and spots. The forewing beneath shows a more organized postmedian band of wavy short black lines. Outer edges of both wings beneath show a line of black inward-pointing chevrons with black dots. The wings above are bluish with darker borders more pronounced on the forewing. Seasonally variable.

Size: Small; 7/8 to 1 3/8 inches

Habitat: Openings in deciduous woodlands, trails, marshes, and stream sides

Season: May through June

Larval Foodplant: Has a wide range of host plants which is probably only exceeded by the Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) (Pyle, 2002). Locally, host plants include chokecherry, waxflower (Jamesia Americana), and ocean spray. Eggs are laid on flower buds. Caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits and are tended by ants. Chrysalids overwinter.

Did You Know…
Because this is most likely a complex of three or more species that have to be sorted out, one will observe slightly different patterns and colors on the underside. This is an early flying butterfly, often signaling the arrival of spring to butterfly watchers.

Species Gallery (click to enlarge)