Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

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Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

Freshly emerged male

Description: Description: 7-11 mm. Similar species are Hemmiargus ceraunus and Cyclargus thomasi. Males are blue above with a pair of black spots on the dorsal hindwing with a red cap on them which differentiates them from Cyclargus thomasi. Females are blue with black boarders and a red and black eyespot on the hind wing. Ventrally, sexes are similar. They have a gray base with white markings as well as 3 black spots on the ventral side that differentiate it from other blues. Cyclargus thomasi has 4 of these black spots. They also has two black spots on the hindwind one of which is capped with red.

 

Habitat and Distribution: Only the pinelands of Big Pine Key and also in the carribean islands as well

 

Host Plant: Although it is named the Nickerbean blue, this butterfly was not found in assosication with nickerbean in Florida. It was feeding on pineland acacia (Vachellia farnesiana pinetorum)

 

Natural History: This butterfly was first reported in 1985 by Tom Kral and later became rather abundant on Big Pine Key later to vanish around 2005. We had the privilege of rearing dozens of these butterflies. They went through happily on pineland acacia but were always stunted in size. When reared on nickerbean however, their size was robust and similar to that of the Miami Blue. Larvae seemed to be very healthy and vigorous on gray nickerbean leaves.

 

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue pupa

Chrysalis

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

Freshly emerged male

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

Freshly emerged female summer form

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

 female

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue pupa

Chrysalis

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

Freshly emerged female

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

Freshly emerged female winter form

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

Freshly emerged female

 Flip Through 

Species Pages

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue egg

eggs

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue larva

Larva

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue larva

Larva

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue larva

Final instar Larva

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue larva

Larvae

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

Freshly emerged female

Cyclargus ammon, Nickerbean Blue

Freshly emerged male