Cassius Blue... the fuzzy blue upperside of this beauty's elegant wings
For me, the upper wing is delightful! The shimmering blue hairs covering the body and fusing out into the wings. The encircled eye spots. The movement and grace of a Cassius Blue butterfly!
Leptotes cassius, commonly known as the Cassius Blue or Tropical Striped Blue, is a butterfly found in Florida and the Keys, Texas south through the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America to South America. Strays can be found in New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri and South Carolina.
The wingspan is 20–35 mm. The eggs of the Cassius Blue butterfly are white/cream and are found on plumbago flower buds.
The butterfly species has an important role in Marisha Pessl's 2006 novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics. The protagonist, Blue van Meer, is named in honor of the Cassius Blue.
The caterpillars feed natively on Fabaceae. Foodplants on record are Amorpha crenulata, Woolly Rattlepod (Crotalaria incana), Galactia regularis and Lima Bean (Phaseolus lunatus). It can also successfully develop feeding on Cape Leadwort (Plumbago auriculata) or Doctorbush (P. scandens), which (among the eudicots) are not closely related to its usual foodplants.
Leptotes cassius, Lycaenidae
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, FL