Need an ID!

sjc48July 6, 2012

Hello Everyone, I am posting this pic here in the hopes of getting some help on identification. This little guy/girl has been flitting around my gardens for about a week now. It shows up as a little blue, while flitting. I've been trying to attract the Karner Blues so every time I see a blue I really get excited, but this one has me puzzled. I've never seen an all white body and the shot I have with the wings open shows the butterfly as all white. But when it flies, it is blue. It is only about as big as my thumbnail. Could it be a Karner?

Any help at all would really be appreciated.

Thanks,

Shirley!

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

It's the summer form of the spring azure, sometimes called a summer azure, definitely not a karner blue, which has many orange markings on the underside. Summer blues are known to be paler, much whiter, than spring azures. The blue you see when the butterfly flies is on the topside of the wings. At rest with the wings up, you just see the pale whitish coloring.

That's a beautiful picture of a very hard to photograph tiny little butterfly!

Sherry

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:26PM
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larry_gene

When flying, you get to see the wings at all angles. Camera-shot wings can vary from white to dark because that particular angle did not reflect the blue--many wing scales on this butterfly are structural, not pigmented.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:42PM
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sjc48

Thank you, Sherry, I think it was the white body that was confusing me. Over the years, I've been able to get several photos of the Azure, just never realized the body was all white.
This is, by far, the best shot I've taken.
Larry, when you have time, could you explain what you mean by "structural, not pigmented"?

Many thanks for responding!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:21AM
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larry_gene

Most butterflies' wing scales are colored by pigments; the wing will display the same color at any angle and in shade or sun.

The blues' wing scales are structured like a prism, and the angle has to be just right to see the most intense blue.

More detailed explanations can of course be found on the Web.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:15PM
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sjc48

Thanks, Larry!
I got some better shots of this butterfly today, but again, they are all white. Really seems to like the echinacea!
Shirley!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:25PM
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