Ceraunus Blue

Hemiargus ceraunus

Summary 5

Hemiargus ceraunus, the Ceraunus Blue, is a butterfly in the Lycaenidae family. It is found in the south-western United States, southern Texas, Florida and the Florida Keys south through the West Indies, Mexico and Central America to South America. Strays may be found in North Carolina, Missouri, Kansas and Nevada. The habitat consists of open woodland, desert scrub, dunes, pastures, road edges and vacant lots.

Description 6

The ceraunus blue butterflies are small and easy to overlook. Adults have a wingspan range of 22 to 30 mm. The sexes are dimorphic. The upper surface of the wings is lavender-blue in males with a narrow black margin and a single black hindwing spot. Females are somewhat darker with blue scaling limited to the wing bases. The undersides of the wings are gray with dark bars, white bands and white-rimmed black spots. The hindwing has a prominent orange-rimmed black marginal spot.

Larva Description 6

The slug-like larvae are highly variable and range in color from light green to pinkish-red.

Larval Host Plants 7

Host plants are a variety of woody legumes (Fabaceae) including partridge pea (Cassia brachiata), mesquite (Prosopis species), and rosary pea (Abrus precatorius).

GTM Occurrence 6

The Ceraunus Blue is considered a common species at the GTM. Almost all observations are in the open habitat along Transect A. A few individuals were sighted along the Marsh Pond Overlook (Transect B). This species occurs throughout the year with minor abundance in April and May and peak abundance in November and December. There have been 535 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015. The fifth most abundant butterfly at the GTM.

Distribution 8

Global Range: Southern California east through Nevada and Utah to New Mexico; Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Not in Louisiana or Mississippi.

Habitat 7

Habitats are subtropical to upper Sonoran zone in open woodlands, desert scrub, dunes, pastures, road edges, and vacant lots.

Nature serve conservation status 9

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread in Neotropics and southern U.S.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Bob Peterson, some rights reserved (CC BY), https://www.flickr.com/photos/pondapple/9038826575/
  2. (c) Anne Reeves, some rights reserved (CC BY-ND), https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlock/15256506664/
  3. (c) Bob Peterson, some rights reserved (CC BY), https://www.flickr.com/photos/pondapple/9530212094/
  4. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/2871104
  5. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemiargus_ceraunus
  6. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  7. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Leslie Ries, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://eol.org/data_objects/19605994
  8. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28817990
  9. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28817984

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