New York Natural Heritage Program
Appalachian Azure
Celastrina neglectamajor Opler and Krizek, 1984
Insects

Identifying Characteristics [-]
This could be very difficult or sometimes even impossible to identify from photographs since photographs may not convey size. Given the scarcity of the species, more than a single specimen should not be collected. In most cases collecting at least one male specimen should be strongly considered for newly discovered populations. Otherwise, several individuals should be photographed with a size reference included in the photographs. The adults are generally larger than other azures and are pale with reduced markings beneath, although summer azures could be very similar. A concentration of large pale azures in the vicinity of black cohosh in late May or early June would probably be Appalachian Azures. Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta) larvae sometimes turn up on this foodplant, so the mere presence of Celastrina larvae on Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is insufficient documentation.

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
The adults are generally larger than other azures and are pale with reduced markings beneath, although summer azures could be very similar. A concentration of large pale azures in the vicinity of Black Cohosh in late May or early June would probably be Appalachian Azures. The flight season is a good clue for identification, as adults found in July or later are not Appalachian Azures.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
The identification should be based on an adult specimen if possible. Larvae in June probably cannot be reliably identified, due to possible occurrence of the Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta) on the same foodplant.

Behavior [-]
This is a localized forest understory azure found near Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa).

Diet [-]
The larvae feed on flowers and developing fruit of Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) only. The adults probably take nectar from other plants.
Appalachian Azure Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
There is one brood with adults present in approximately mid or late May to mid-June. A few larvae may be present into July. Most of the year is spent as pupae in the leaf litter or humus layer.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Reproducing Larvae present and active Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find Appalachian Azure reproducing (blue shading), larvae present and active (green shading) and pupae or prepupae present (orange shading) in New York.
Similar Species
  • Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta)
    The larvae of the Summer Azure may also be found on the same foodplant.