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— Bryan

Getting the Blues

Big Lessons in Little Azure (Celastrina) Butterflies

April 2, 2018  |  by Bryan Pfeiffer  |  7 comments

Although they measure barely an inch across, the azures (in the genus Celastrina) cause a mile of wonderful consternation among lepidopterists. Even as these butterflies present sparks of blue in spring, their taxonomy remains somewhat cloudy. I won’t resolve it for you here. Instead, I’ll tell you some of what we know or suspect about these blues, including revelations from some amazing research in Canada. Along the way, you’ll discover how butterflies can expand our knowledge of nature, and maybe even allow you to witness evolution happening in your own backyard. So, in time for the azures of April, read more in my illustrated explainer (a four-page PDF) called Getting the Blues »

Source: Schmidt BC, Layberry RA. What Azure blues occur in Canada? A re-assessment of Celastrina Tutt species (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae). ZooKeys 584: 135–164. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.584.7882

7 comments
  1. Eloise Hedbor says:

    Wonderful, Brian. Jim would have loved this!

  2. Kristina Stykos says:

    That is the most heavenly blue, one of the best in nature!

    • Bryan says:

      Yeah, blue is an odd color in nature — so often the result of light scattering rather than pigment. It can be sorta other-worldly.

  3. Dave Halstead says:

    Thanks Bryan for another great article. Proves once again, the more we know, the more we don’t know.

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