Help identifying a blue from June 2019, Olympia Airport


mcallisters4
 

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval’s Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval’s Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn’t think it was a Boisduval’s Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn’t believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles’ words from yesterday, “If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia.” I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I’d appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson’s Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson’s Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I’ll know what I’m looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 


tlpyle@...
 

Well, Kelly, this one is a challenge! But I think you were right in the first place, that it is an Echo Azure.

My dictum about "any spots distal of the mesial band" being Icaricia only applies to individuals that might be taken for Glaucopsyche, which this one would not. Actually, ALL the blues (I think) have maculation distal of the mesial band EXCEPT for silveries; so perhaps I should have framed that in the opposite terms. I can see why Stewart would think this a Boisduval's, given the state of the mesial band of spots; but:

the field mark that most says "Celastrina" to me about this one is the long vertical dash in the cell, a classic azure marking. Also, the submarginal spots almost suggest chevrons, which azures generally display. I suspect your Johnson's Prairie puddlers were also azures.

Pelham? Norbert? Thoughts?

As always, specimens solve the issue!

Bob

 


On 2022-06-22 10:27 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval's Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval's Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn't think it was a Boisduval's Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn't believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles' words from yesterday, "If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia." I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I'd appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson's Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson's Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I'll know what I'm looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 


Norbert Kondla
 

I vote for Celastrina. In addition to what Bob pointed out, note also the dark terminal line on the ventral hind wing. The icarioides subspecies blackmorei and montis do have very lightly marked ventral hindwings but lack the dark terminal line. Both of these were described from nearby southwestern British Columbia. You can see pics of the name bearing types here
and here


On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 1:39 AM <tlpyle@...> wrote:

Well, Kelly, this one is a challenge! But I think you were right in the first place, that it is an Echo Azure.

My dictum about "any spots distal of the mesial band" being Icaricia only applies to individuals that might be taken for Glaucopsyche, which this one would not. Actually, ALL the blues (I think) have maculation distal of the mesial band EXCEPT for silveries; so perhaps I should have framed that in the opposite terms. I can see why Stewart would think this a Boisduval's, given the state of the mesial band of spots; but:

the field mark that most says "Celastrina" to me about this one is the long vertical dash in the cell, a classic azure marking. Also, the submarginal spots almost suggest chevrons, which azures generally display. I suspect your Johnson's Prairie puddlers were also azures.

Pelham? Norbert? Thoughts?

As always, specimens solve the issue!

Bob

 


On 2022-06-22 10:27 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval's Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval's Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn't think it was a Boisduval's Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn't believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles' words from yesterday, "If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia." I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I'd appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson's Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson's Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I'll know what I'm looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 



--
Norbert Kondla
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  (elevation 1060 metres asl)


Stewart Wechsler
 

If I was wrong, I'm happy to be corrected!  That said, now I want to find that image on iNaturalist, to see what I said, but can't find it.  Do you have the iNaturalist link Kelly?

-Stewart

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 6:04 AM Norbert Kondla <nkondla@...> wrote:
I vote for Celastrina. In addition to what Bob pointed out, note also the dark terminal line on the ventral hind wing. The icarioides subspecies blackmorei and montis do have very lightly marked ventral hindwings but lack the dark terminal line. Both of these were described from nearby southwestern British Columbia. You can see pics of the name bearing types here
and here

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 1:39 AM <tlpyle@...> wrote:

Well, Kelly, this one is a challenge! But I think you were right in the first place, that it is an Echo Azure.

My dictum about "any spots distal of the mesial band" being Icaricia only applies to individuals that might be taken for Glaucopsyche, which this one would not. Actually, ALL the blues (I think) have maculation distal of the mesial band EXCEPT for silveries; so perhaps I should have framed that in the opposite terms. I can see why Stewart would think this a Boisduval's, given the state of the mesial band of spots; but:

the field mark that most says "Celastrina" to me about this one is the long vertical dash in the cell, a classic azure marking. Also, the submarginal spots almost suggest chevrons, which azures generally display. I suspect your Johnson's Prairie puddlers were also azures.

Pelham? Norbert? Thoughts?

As always, specimens solve the issue!

Bob

 


On 2022-06-22 10:27 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval's Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval's Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn't think it was a Boisduval's Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn't believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles' words from yesterday, "If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia." I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I'd appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson's Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson's Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I'll know what I'm looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 



--
Norbert Kondla
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  (elevation 1060 metres asl)


Caitlin LaBar
 

I hate to disagree with Norbert and Bob but I think it’s icarioides.
The ground color is two-toned fuzzy gray, not worn/missing scales, while Celastrina echo from this area is very flat white/pale gray with more distinctive marginal markings.
The hindwing shape is elongated like Icaricia, not rounded like Celastrina.
The spots have white halos, which isn’t very distinct on Celastrina.
The upper two spots near the costa are oriented so that if you draw a line through them it angles far back, usually in line with the next (third down) spot, as illustrated by my red sketch line on the attachment, which is almost always the pattern in icarioides. In Celastrina, a line through these two spots angles down, such as how I drew the two blue lines.
Hope this helps. I’ll try to dig up some photos later today of blackmorei from my graduate studies at Johnson Prairie. The ones in that area vary from looking like Kelly’s image to Norbert’s, and everything in between.

Caitlin 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 8:54 AM Stewart Wechsler <ecostewart@...> wrote:
If I was wrong, I'm happy to be corrected!  That said, now I want to find that image on iNaturalist, to see what I said, but can't find it.  Do you have the iNaturalist link Kelly?

-Stewart

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 6:04 AM Norbert Kondla <nkondla@...> wrote:
I vote for Celastrina. In addition to what Bob pointed out, note also the dark terminal line on the ventral hind wing. The icarioides subspecies blackmorei and montis do have very lightly marked ventral hindwings but lack the dark terminal line. Both of these were described from nearby southwestern British Columbia. You can see pics of the name bearing types here
and here

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 1:39 AM <tlpyle@...> wrote:

Well, Kelly, this one is a challenge! But I think you were right in the first place, that it is an Echo Azure.

My dictum about "any spots distal of the mesial band" being Icaricia only applies to individuals that might be taken for Glaucopsyche, which this one would not. Actually, ALL the blues (I think) have maculation distal of the mesial band EXCEPT for silveries; so perhaps I should have framed that in the opposite terms. I can see why Stewart would think this a Boisduval's, given the state of the mesial band of spots; but:

the field mark that most says "Celastrina" to me about this one is the long vertical dash in the cell, a classic azure marking. Also, the submarginal spots almost suggest chevrons, which azures generally display. I suspect your Johnson's Prairie puddlers were also azures.

Pelham? Norbert? Thoughts?

As always, specimens solve the issue!

Bob

 


On 2022-06-22 10:27 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval's Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval's Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn't think it was a Boisduval's Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn't believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles' words from yesterday, "If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia." I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I'd appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson's Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson's Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I'll know what I'm looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 



--
Norbert Kondla
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  (elevation 1060 metres asl)

--

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Caitlin LaBar
 

Still haven't dug up my own photos yet but I found the iNaturalist link for the image in question: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/35926051

Here is another iNaturalist record https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/50779190 where the male on the left looks like the individual in question and the female on the right is clearly I. icarioides blackmorei.
All three images in this record are also similar: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/35953757

Caitlin

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 9:08 AM Caitlin LaBar via groups.io <caitlinlabar=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I hate to disagree with Norbert and Bob but I think it’s icarioides.
The ground color is two-toned fuzzy gray, not worn/missing scales, while Celastrina echo from this area is very flat white/pale gray with more distinctive marginal markings.
The hindwing shape is elongated like Icaricia, not rounded like Celastrina.
The spots have white halos, which isn’t very distinct on Celastrina.
The upper two spots near the costa are oriented so that if you draw a line through them it angles far back, usually in line with the next (third down) spot, as illustrated by my red sketch line on the attachment, which is almost always the pattern in icarioides. In Celastrina, a line through these two spots angles down, such as how I drew the two blue lines.
Hope this helps. I’ll try to dig up some photos later today of blackmorei from my graduate studies at Johnson Prairie. The ones in that area vary from looking like Kelly’s image to Norbert’s, and everything in between.

Caitlin 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 8:54 AM Stewart Wechsler <ecostewart@...> wrote:
If I was wrong, I'm happy to be corrected!  That said, now I want to find that image on iNaturalist, to see what I said, but can't find it.  Do you have the iNaturalist link Kelly?

-Stewart

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 6:04 AM Norbert Kondla <nkondla@...> wrote:
I vote for Celastrina. In addition to what Bob pointed out, note also the dark terminal line on the ventral hind wing. The icarioides subspecies blackmorei and montis do have very lightly marked ventral hindwings but lack the dark terminal line. Both of these were described from nearby southwestern British Columbia. You can see pics of the name bearing types here
and here

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 1:39 AM <tlpyle@...> wrote:

Well, Kelly, this one is a challenge! But I think you were right in the first place, that it is an Echo Azure.

My dictum about "any spots distal of the mesial band" being Icaricia only applies to individuals that might be taken for Glaucopsyche, which this one would not. Actually, ALL the blues (I think) have maculation distal of the mesial band EXCEPT for silveries; so perhaps I should have framed that in the opposite terms. I can see why Stewart would think this a Boisduval's, given the state of the mesial band of spots; but:

the field mark that most says "Celastrina" to me about this one is the long vertical dash in the cell, a classic azure marking. Also, the submarginal spots almost suggest chevrons, which azures generally display. I suspect your Johnson's Prairie puddlers were also azures.

Pelham? Norbert? Thoughts?

As always, specimens solve the issue!

Bob

 


On 2022-06-22 10:27 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval's Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval's Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn't think it was a Boisduval's Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn't believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles' words from yesterday, "If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia." I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I'd appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson's Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson's Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I'll know what I'm looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 



--
Norbert Kondla
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  (elevation 1060 metres asl)

--

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Stewart Wechsler
 

I now found the iNaturalist observation and dialogue.  (I had mistakenly been looking for one of Kelly's observations.)  I initially agreed with the observer's ID of Icaricia icaroides blackmorei, then after Kelly suggested Celastrina echo, I looked again, and wasn't sure which it was, and pulled back to Polyommatini.

-Stewart

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 9:08 AM Caitlin LaBar <caitlinlabar@...> wrote:
I hate to disagree with Norbert and Bob but I think it’s icarioides.
The ground color is two-toned fuzzy gray, not worn/missing scales, while Celastrina echo from this area is very flat white/pale gray with more distinctive marginal markings.
The hindwing shape is elongated like Icaricia, not rounded like Celastrina.
The spots have white halos, which isn’t very distinct on Celastrina.
The upper two spots near the costa are oriented so that if you draw a line through them it angles far back, usually in line with the next (third down) spot, as illustrated by my red sketch line on the attachment, which is almost always the pattern in icarioides. In Celastrina, a line through these two spots angles down, such as how I drew the two blue lines.
Hope this helps. I’ll try to dig up some photos later today of blackmorei from my graduate studies at Johnson Prairie. The ones in that area vary from looking like Kelly’s image to Norbert’s, and everything in between.

Caitlin 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 8:54 AM Stewart Wechsler <ecostewart@...> wrote:
If I was wrong, I'm happy to be corrected!  That said, now I want to find that image on iNaturalist, to see what I said, but can't find it.  Do you have the iNaturalist link Kelly?

-Stewart

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 6:04 AM Norbert Kondla <nkondla@...> wrote:
I vote for Celastrina. In addition to what Bob pointed out, note also the dark terminal line on the ventral hind wing. The icarioides subspecies blackmorei and montis do have very lightly marked ventral hindwings but lack the dark terminal line. Both of these were described from nearby southwestern British Columbia. You can see pics of the name bearing types here
and here

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 1:39 AM <tlpyle@...> wrote:

Well, Kelly, this one is a challenge! But I think you were right in the first place, that it is an Echo Azure.

My dictum about "any spots distal of the mesial band" being Icaricia only applies to individuals that might be taken for Glaucopsyche, which this one would not. Actually, ALL the blues (I think) have maculation distal of the mesial band EXCEPT for silveries; so perhaps I should have framed that in the opposite terms. I can see why Stewart would think this a Boisduval's, given the state of the mesial band of spots; but:

the field mark that most says "Celastrina" to me about this one is the long vertical dash in the cell, a classic azure marking. Also, the submarginal spots almost suggest chevrons, which azures generally display. I suspect your Johnson's Prairie puddlers were also azures.

Pelham? Norbert? Thoughts?

As always, specimens solve the issue!

Bob

 


On 2022-06-22 10:27 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval's Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval's Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn't think it was a Boisduval's Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn't believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles' words from yesterday, "If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia." I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I'd appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson's Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson's Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I'll know what I'm looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 



--
Norbert Kondla
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  (elevation 1060 metres asl)

--

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


tlpyle@...
 

Hmmm...and JPP agrees with Caitlin. I'd like to just defer to you both, but I am not quite convinced. The gray looks like wear and lost scales to me. The spot-band does look more like some Boisduval's; but that vertical cell-bar and the submarginal band speak of Celastrina to my eye, and Norbert mentions the terminal line. I wasn't aware of the spot-alignment formula you describe, Caitlin--if that holds up, we should add it to some future revision of BPNW, like Pelham's editha-line!

Here's where there's just no substitute for being able to compare long series of museum specimens--or the photographic equivalent, like Norbert's wonderful series of curated, adjacent images. The BOA website is not very helpful in this instance, none of the I. i. blackmorei images looking remotely like this butterfly. If you can find more of your images, Caitlin, that may be helpful. Wish we had the dorsal view too.

Both of these species are highly variable, and they clearly have some overlap in their variation. Usually they are a simple matter to distinguish, but this one is hoodwinking some of us or the others! Ha--that's nature!

RMP



 


On 2022-06-23 9:07 am, Caitlin LaBar wrote:

 
I hate to disagree with Norbert and Bob but I think it's icarioides.
The ground color is two-toned fuzzy gray, not worn/missing scales, while Celastrina echo from this area is very flat white/pale gray with more distinctive marginal markings.
The hindwing shape is elongated like Icaricia, not rounded like Celastrina.
The spots have white halos, which isn't very distinct on Celastrina.
The upper two spots near the costa are oriented so that if you draw a line through them it angles far back, usually in line with the next (third down) spot, as illustrated by my red sketch line on the attachment, which is almost always the pattern in icarioides. In Celastrina, a line through these two spots angles down, such as how I drew the two blue lines.
Hope this helps. I'll try to dig up some photos later today of blackmorei from my graduate studies at Johnson Prairie. The ones in that area vary from looking like Kelly's image to Norbert's, and everything in between.
 
Caitlin 

 


mcallisters4
 

Well, I’ve learned many new things including another alternative vernacular, Blackmore’s Blue (apparently inaturalist’s standard) and that this loosely prairie-associated butterfly is found in downtown Rainier. I took lots of pictures of blues like the Olympia airport butterfly at Johnson’s Prairie but I’m guessing they’re all Ektachrome slides in a giant storage tub in my attic.

 

Thanks to all who participated in this. It’s been very helpful to me.

 

Kelly McAllister

 

From: NorWestLeps@groups.io <NorWestLeps@groups.io> On Behalf Of Stewart Wechsler
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2022 10:29 AM
To: NorWestLeps@groups.io
Subject: Re: [NorWestLeps] Help identifying a blue from June 2019, Olympia Airport

 

I now found the iNaturalist observation and dialogue.  (I had mistakenly been looking for one of Kelly's observations.)  I initially agreed with the observer's ID of Icaricia icaroides blackmorei, then after Kelly suggested Celastrina echo, I looked again, and wasn't sure which it was, and pulled back to Polyommatini.

 

-Stewart

 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 9:08 AM Caitlin LaBar <caitlinlabar@...> wrote:

I hate to disagree with Norbert and Bob but I think it’s icarioides.

The ground color is two-toned fuzzy gray, not worn/missing scales, while Celastrina echo from this area is very flat white/pale gray with more distinctive marginal markings.

The hindwing shape is elongated like Icaricia, not rounded like Celastrina.

The spots have white halos, which isn’t very distinct on Celastrina.

The upper two spots near the costa are oriented so that if you draw a line through them it angles far back, usually in line with the next (third down) spot, as illustrated by my red sketch line on the attachment, which is almost always the pattern in icarioides. In Celastrina, a line through these two spots angles down, such as how I drew the two blue lines.

Hope this helps. I’ll try to dig up some photos later today of blackmorei from my graduate studies at Johnson Prairie. The ones in that area vary from looking like Kelly’s image to Norbert’s, and everything in between.

 

Caitlin 

 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 8:54 AM Stewart Wechsler <ecostewart@...> wrote:

If I was wrong, I'm happy to be corrected!  That said, now I want to find that image on iNaturalist, to see what I said, but can't find it.  Do you have the iNaturalist link Kelly?

 

-Stewart

 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 6:04 AM Norbert Kondla <nkondla@...> wrote:

I vote for Celastrina. In addition to what Bob pointed out, note also the dark terminal line on the ventral hind wing. The icarioides subspecies blackmorei and montis do have very lightly marked ventral hindwings but lack the dark terminal line. Both of these were described from nearby southwestern British Columbia. You can see pics of the name bearing types here

and here

 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 1:39 AM <tlpyle@...> wrote:

Well, Kelly, this one is a challenge! But I think you were right in the first place, that it is an Echo Azure.

My dictum about "any spots distal of the mesial band" being Icaricia only applies to individuals that might be taken for Glaucopsyche, which this one would not. Actually, ALL the blues (I think) have maculation distal of the mesial band EXCEPT for silveries; so perhaps I should have framed that in the opposite terms. I can see why Stewart would think this a Boisduval's, given the state of the mesial band of spots; but:

the field mark that most says "Celastrina" to me about this one is the long vertical dash in the cell, a classic azure marking. Also, the submarginal spots almost suggest chevrons, which azures generally display. I suspect your Johnson's Prairie puddlers were also azures.

Pelham? Norbert? Thoughts?

As always, specimens solve the issue!

Bob

 

 

On 2022-06-22 10:27 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval's Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval's Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn't think it was a Boisduval's Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn't believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles' words from yesterday, "If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia." I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I'd appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson's Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson's Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I'll know what I'm looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 


 

--

Norbert Kondla

Calgary, Alberta, Canada  (elevation 1060 metres asl)

 

--

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Stewart Wechsler
 

With disagreement among the experts on this one, I'm pleased to say that my second ID of "I'm not sure which it is.", after initially agreeing with the observer that it was blackmorei, was a respectable ID!

-Stewart

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 3:52 PM mcallisters4 <mcallisters4@...> wrote:

Well, I’ve learned many new things including another alternative vernacular, Blackmore’s Blue (apparently inaturalist’s standard) and that this loosely prairie-associated butterfly is found in downtown Rainier. I took lots of pictures of blues like the Olympia airport butterfly at Johnson’s Prairie but I’m guessing they’re all Ektachrome slides in a giant storage tub in my attic.

 

Thanks to all who participated in this. It’s been very helpful to me.

 

Kelly McAllister

 

From: NorWestLeps@groups.io <NorWestLeps@groups.io> On Behalf Of Stewart Wechsler
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2022 10:29 AM
To: NorWestLeps@groups.io
Subject: Re: [NorWestLeps] Help identifying a blue from June 2019, Olympia Airport

 

I now found the iNaturalist observation and dialogue.  (I had mistakenly been looking for one of Kelly's observations.)  I initially agreed with the observer's ID of Icaricia icaroides blackmorei, then after Kelly suggested Celastrina echo, I looked again, and wasn't sure which it was, and pulled back to Polyommatini.

 

-Stewart

 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 9:08 AM Caitlin LaBar <caitlinlabar@...> wrote:

I hate to disagree with Norbert and Bob but I think it’s icarioides.

The ground color is two-toned fuzzy gray, not worn/missing scales, while Celastrina echo from this area is very flat white/pale gray with more distinctive marginal markings.

The hindwing shape is elongated like Icaricia, not rounded like Celastrina.

The spots have white halos, which isn’t very distinct on Celastrina.

The upper two spots near the costa are oriented so that if you draw a line through them it angles far back, usually in line with the next (third down) spot, as illustrated by my red sketch line on the attachment, which is almost always the pattern in icarioides. In Celastrina, a line through these two spots angles down, such as how I drew the two blue lines.

Hope this helps. I’ll try to dig up some photos later today of blackmorei from my graduate studies at Johnson Prairie. The ones in that area vary from looking like Kelly’s image to Norbert’s, and everything in between.

 

Caitlin 

 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 8:54 AM Stewart Wechsler <ecostewart@...> wrote:

If I was wrong, I'm happy to be corrected!  That said, now I want to find that image on iNaturalist, to see what I said, but can't find it.  Do you have the iNaturalist link Kelly?

 

-Stewart

 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 6:04 AM Norbert Kondla <nkondla@...> wrote:

I vote for Celastrina. In addition to what Bob pointed out, note also the dark terminal line on the ventral hind wing. The icarioides subspecies blackmorei and montis do have very lightly marked ventral hindwings but lack the dark terminal line. Both of these were described from nearby southwestern British Columbia. You can see pics of the name bearing types here

and here

 

On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 1:39 AM <tlpyle@...> wrote:

Well, Kelly, this one is a challenge! But I think you were right in the first place, that it is an Echo Azure.

My dictum about "any spots distal of the mesial band" being Icaricia only applies to individuals that might be taken for Glaucopsyche, which this one would not. Actually, ALL the blues (I think) have maculation distal of the mesial band EXCEPT for silveries; so perhaps I should have framed that in the opposite terms. I can see why Stewart would think this a Boisduval's, given the state of the mesial band of spots; but:

the field mark that most says "Celastrina" to me about this one is the long vertical dash in the cell, a classic azure marking. Also, the submarginal spots almost suggest chevrons, which azures generally display. I suspect your Johnson's Prairie puddlers were also azures.

Pelham? Norbert? Thoughts?

As always, specimens solve the issue!

Bob

 

 

On 2022-06-22 10:27 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I was using inaturalist to explore locations where Silvery Blues and Boisduval's Blues had been reported in prairies of south Puget Sound. I looked at the photo linked below and saw that it had initially been identified as a Boisduval's Blue (ssp.blackmorei). I didn't think it was a Boisduval's Blue and thought it was an Echo Azure. Stewart Wechsler pointed out reasons why he didn't believe it to be an Echo Azure and I think Stewart is right. Noting Bob Pyles' words from yesterday, "If you see ANY maculation distal from the mesial band of spots, it is Icaricia." I believe Stewart Wechsler was probably right in his initial identification of this butterfly as Icaricia. I'd appreciate feedback on this one. I remember seeing many blues that looked like this one, puddling near Johnson's Prairie on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, many years ago. The ventral hind wing spots have poorly defined (not very white) halos and the dark centers are quite large relative to the light halos. I was totally confused by the ones near Johnson's Prairie. It will be nice, for me, to settle this so I'll know what I'm looking at next time.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52166801318/in/dateposted-public/

 

 


 

--

Norbert Kondla

Calgary, Alberta, Canada  (elevation 1060 metres asl)

 

--

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Kelsey King
 

This looks like the gray Pugets to me, from the Joint Base area. I haven’t seen many azures there myself. 


Here are some pictures from Johnson prairie, you can see all the variety! 


p.s. please excuse the ones with sharpie marks from our mark recapture study. 

 


tlpyle@...
 

Thanks, Kelsey. It may well be so. 

I'm eager to see your pics, but did not see them attached or a link.

Bob

 


On 2022-06-23 5:27 pm, kelsey.king216@... wrote:

This looks like the gray Pugets to me, from the Joint Base area. I haven’t seen many azures there myself. 


Here are some pictures from Johnson prairie, you can see all the variety! 


p.s. please excuse the ones with sharpie marks from our mark recapture study. 



Kelsey King
 

Must not have attached using the group site. 

I’ll try using email. 



On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 17:31 kelsey.king216 via groups.io <kelsey.king216=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

This looks like the gray Pugets to me, from the Joint Base area. I haven’t seen many azures there myself. 


Here are some pictures from Johnson prairie, you can see all the variety! 


p.s. please excuse the ones with sharpie marks from our mark recapture study. 

 

--
Best,
Kelsey C. King
Pronouns: she & her


mcallisters4
 

Never mind my comment about Blackmore’s Blue being found in downtown Rainier. In fact, ignore my reference to Olympia Airport in the Subject line of my original post. iNaturalist is obscuring the locations for this subspecies due, I guess, the potential for hoards of butterfly collectors with nets to descend upon these butterfly populations and wipe them out! Ludicrous.

 

Kelly McAllister


Caitlin LaBar
 

Here are some images from my field work at Johnson Prairie back in 2006. Including one dorsal male that has an exceptionally wide brown border, to illustrate what I mentioned to Kelly in the other thread about dorsal characteristics.
Regarding the ventral markings, in particular look at the image ending in #7469.

Caitlin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 6:53 PM Kelsey King <kelsey.king216@...> wrote:
Must not have attached using the group site. 

I’ll try using email. 



On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 17:31 kelsey.king216 via groups.io <kelsey.king216=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

This looks like the gray Pugets to me, from the Joint Base area. I haven’t seen many azures there myself. 


Here are some pictures from Johnson prairie, you can see all the variety! 


p.s. please excuse the ones with sharpie marks from our mark recapture study. 

 

--
Best,
Kelsey C. King
Pronouns: she & her


mcallisters4
 

I’m still digesting the useful advice and photos. I discovered that my memory of confusing blues at the wet rutted depression along Rainier Road near Johnson’s Prairie wasn’t as long ago as I had thought. It was 26 May 2005 and I uploaded about 13 of the images to my Flickr page linked below. I did my best, using some of what I’ve just learned, to identify the butterflies in the description for each image. There were Silvery Blues, Icaricia, and Western Tailed Blues there that day. Of particular interest, to me, is image 036, a blue with a dark brown background on the ventral hind wing. I decided the dot pattern best matches Silvery Blue but I’d be curious what others think. Of course, any corrections or comments are welcome.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52168030022/in/dateposted-public/

 

Kelly McAllister

Olympia

 


tlpyle@...
 

Very good, Caitlin--thanks so much.

Yes, # 7469 looks very much like Kelly's blue, including the dark cell bar. OK, I am convinced.  It would be nice if BOA could add some of these to its rather paltry images of this taxon.

Helpful discussion for all, I presume.

Bob

 


On 2022-06-23 8:25 pm, Caitlin LaBar wrote:

Here are some images from my field work at Johnson Prairie back in 2006. Including one dorsal male that has an exceptionally wide brown border, to illustrate what I mentioned to Kelly in the other thread about dorsal characteristics.
Regarding the ventral markings, in particular look at the image ending in #7469.
 
Caitlin
 
 


tlpyle@...
 

Ha ha, Kelly! Yes, pretty silly. Not many folks with nets out there these days, we could surely use more. I understand the principle but dislike the practice of obscuring data for rare species, as it generates errors on maps and sometimes backfires for sites not yet protected.

Bob

 


On 2022-06-23 8:23 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

Never mind my comment about Blackmore's Blue being found in downtown Rainier. In fact, ignore my reference to Olympia Airport in the Subject line of my original post. iNaturalist is obscuring the locations for this subspecies due, I guess, the potential for hoards of butterfly collectors with nets to descend upon these butterfly populations and wipe them out! Ludicrous.

 

Kelly McAllister


tlpyle@...
 

Kelly, to your good set of photographs--my Rx here instead of on Flickr.

Most of your IDs are spot-on, as Icaricia.

The first couple you thought might be Glaucopsyche (0161, 0159) are Icaricia, as Kelsey (who clearly has a practiced and good eye for these) has also indicated. Their distal spots are light, but present. Note that these can be VERY subtle, asp. on the vhw, but there is almost always some scaling collected into even rudimentary spots.

Your 0136 Silvery is indeed Glaucopsyche, as Kelsey concurs--old, dark, no distal spots, basal blue flush (pronounced (both species can have this, but it's often a little more pronounced in silveries. Good call.

Ditto on 0093--they are indeed a nice sideXside of both species, field guide material!

The only two I'm slightly uneasy about are 0084 and 0080; possibly all Icaricia--I'd much rather have them in the hand with a loupe, and see the dorsum as well. Sometimes the iris is large on Boisduval's and the halo as  contrasty as on silveries. The ground color is uncomfortably light on these.

And finally our old friend, oddment of an Icaricia on a fern, which began the whole thing!

Thanks for sharing these.

Bob P.










 


On 2022-06-23 11:18 pm, mcallisters4 wrote:

I'm still digesting the useful advice and photos. I discovered that my memory of confusing blues at the wet rutted depression along Rainier Road near Johnson's Prairie wasn't as long ago as I had thought. It was 26 May 2005 and I uploaded about 13 of the images to my Flickr page linked below. I did my best, using some of what I've just learned, to identify the butterflies in the description for each image. There were Silvery Blues, Icaricia, and Western Tailed Blues there that day. Of particular interest, to me, is image 036, a blue with a dark brown background on the ventral hind wing. I decided the dot pattern best matches Silvery Blue but I'd be curious what others think. Of course, any corrections or comments are welcome.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29002564@N08/52168030022/in/dateposted-public/

 

Kelly McAllister

Olympia

 


mcallisters4
 

Well, I managed to get some really knowledgeable people to look at my Rainier Road mud puddle photos (some input came to me at my personal email) and I’m happy to say that, while I had a couple of errors in my identifications, everybody else was pretty much in agreement (Bob was hedging a bit on images 0080 & 0084 or it would have been perfect agreement). It’s been really helpful for me. No doubt all that I learned is in the field guides on my shelves. Still, it’s been super helpful to use some example photos and get some specific guidance on the field marks. I know what to look for now. Thanks to all who were willing to bear with me on this.

 

Kelly McAllister