American Holly Azure Celastrina idella Wright & Pavulaan, 1999    Synonyms: Hodges #4363.5.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Arthropoda   >   Class Insecta   >   Order Lepidoptera   >   Family Lycaenidae   >   Genus Celastrina   


American Holly Azure (Celastrina idella) is a recently-described species (Wright and Pavulaan, 1999) extremely similar to the other members of the genus. Holly Azure appears restricted primarily to the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions from New Jersey into southern Georgia, exclusively using American Holly or other hollies (Ilex) as the larval food plant. In certain regions, Spring and Summer Azure have also been recorded as sometimes using holly as a larval host, and there exists anecdotal evidence from Pavulaan that idella had become extirpated from certain localities where other species were also recorded on Ilex. This species is univoltine (one brood), and flies in Maryland from late April into early May (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith). Rick Borchelt's blog ( has additional information from Harry Pavulaan on this and other Celastrina species.


Utilizes American Holly (Ilex opaca) as a host plant.

There are 14 records in the project database.

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An American Holly Azure in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/6/2013). Verified by Dick Smith on BAMONA with this caveat: "This could also be a spring form Summer Azure, but considering the solid white hindwing fringe, Holly Azure is more likely." Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

An American Holly Azure in Wicomico Co., Maryland (5/2/2020). Photo by Rick Borchelt. (MBP list)

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