Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Nickerbean Blue
Cyclargus ammon (Lucas, 1857)

Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Polyommatinae
Identification: Upperside mostly bright blue; female hindwing with orange spot at lower edge. Underside of both sexes with only 3 basal black spots. One of two eyespots at corner of outer margin is always capped with red. Very similar to the Miami Blue.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 3 cm).
Life History: Eggs are laid singly on flower buds of host plant. Caterpillars feed on flowers and may live inside the pods, eating seeds.
Flight: Throughout the year in Florida. Adults are in reproductive diapause during the winter generation from December-April.
Caterpillar Hosts: Nickerbean (Cesalpinia bahamensis).
Adult Food: Flower nectar including that of Croton.
Habitat: Openings and edges of tropical hardwood hammocks.
Range: Big Pine Key, Florida and West Indies.
Conservation: Population on Big Pine Key is only U.S. population and should be protected from extirpation by aerial spraying for mosquitoes.
NCGR: G4G5- Apparently or demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Preserve habitat of caterpillar plant and nectar sources.
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