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Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus)

Description: A small blue butterfly. The male upperside is pale metallic blue with a narrow dark margin. The female upperside is dark brownish-grey, with a blue cast especially toward the base and inconspicuous orange-capped black spots along the margins, particularly on the hindwing. The upperside is silvery grey, with bold black spots loosely arranged into two rows. There is a partial third row of black spots on the hindwing, and between this and the adjacent row are elongate orange markings. The most similar species in the Maritimes is Silvery Blue. In that species there is only a single row of black spots on the underside of the wings. Wingspan: 21 to 28 mm.

Maritime Distribution: Mainly in northern New Brunswick, one old record from Nova Scotia. For Atlas results click here.

Provincial Ranks: NB: S1S2. NS: SU. PEI: -.

Flight Period: Early June to mid July.

Host Plant: Clovers, including White Clover (Trifolium repens) and Alsike Clover (Trifolium hybridum), but not Red Clover (Trifolium pratense).

Notes: Greenish Blue is found in a variety of moderately disturbed areas where clovers grow. At one time it had colonized much of New Brunswick, though now it seems to be restricted to the north. Often found along new roads where its host plant has been planted as an anti-erosion crop, it may persist for a few years until the roadside becomes overgrown and no longer provides suitable habitat.