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Meltolius River, Deschutes County, May 25

Asher's Blue

Celastrina asheri

Size: 0.9 - 1.1 inches wingspan

Key ID features:  This a recently described species (2021). Male hazy blue above, with no black markings. Female dusky-blue, often extensively darkened above.  Dorsal wing fringes may be somewhat or heavily darkened. Below, dusky-gray, with extremely variable black and gray markings. Discal hindwing spots are swollen and elongated compared to Echo Azure, and all discal hindwing spots may be expanded and or fused with each other.

Similar species: Distinguished from Echo Azure by its smaller size, shorter and more rounded wings, with the ventral ground color being dusky to gray, discal spots larger than in C. echo, and often with darker gray patches of various shapes and sizes.

 

Host plants: red osier dogwood and possibly oceanspray.

Habitat: Shrubby habitats and riparian areas. ​

Range: Has been documented in Baker, Clackamas, Crook, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wasco counties. Further field study is needed to better understand the distribution in Oregon.

Season: Late March to late July, peaking in early May at lower elevations, and in early June at higher elevations

Abundance: Can be locally common near host plant.

 

Conservation Status: Secure