Western Spring Azure
Photo by Dennis Walker, with permission
Western Spring Azure (Celastrina echo)
Silvery lilac to periwinkle blue, small. This will be one of the earliest butterflies seen each spring, primarily in April and May. Eggs are laid on the buds of flowering shrubs and trees, including dogwood, ocean spray, huckleberry and spirea. The larvae produce a honeydew which ants come to eat, in exchange for protecting the larvae from predators. Adults sip from mud, ash, and dung as well as the nectar of many wild and garden flowers.