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Ceraunus Blue Hemiargus ceraunus (Fabricius, 1793)
Identification: Upperside of male light blue with a darker narrow border; female dark brown, often with wing bases blue. Underside gray; both wings with a row of dark postmedian dashes. Florida butterflies have one submarginal eyespot on hindwing; Southwest butterflies have two.
Wing Span: 3/4 - 1 1/8 inches (2 - 3 cm).
Life History: Males patrol during warm hours of the day for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on flower buds or leaves of host plant; caterpillars feed on flowers and seedpods.
Flight: Throughout the year in Texas and south Florida, late summer in other parts of its range.
Caterpillar Hosts: A variety of woody legumes including partridge pea (Cassia brachiata), mesquite (Prosopis species), and rosary pea (Abrus precatorius).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open woodland, desert scrub, dunes, pastures, road edges, and vacant lots.
Range: U. S. Southwest, South Texas, Florida and the Keys south through the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America to South America. Strays to North Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, and Nevada.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
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