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Silvery blue
Silvery Blue-underside.jpg
G. l. couperi, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Conservation status
Scientific classification
G. lygamus
Binomial name
Glaucopsyche lygdamus
(Edward Doubleday, 1841)

See text

Silvery Blue, Nose Hill, Calgary
G. l. couperii on tufted vetch (Vicia cracca), Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly (5170035465)
G. l. palosverdesensis

Glaucopsyche lygdamus, the silvery blue, is a small butterfly native to North America. Its upperside is a light blue in males and a dull grayish blue in females. The underside is gray with a single row of round spots of differing sizes depending upon the region.

G. lygdamus is found over much of the western United States and most of Canada extending north excepting most of Nunavut and the high Arctic islands. Wingspan is from 18 to 28 mm.

Similar species

  • Eastern tailed-blue (Cupido comyntas) has small 'tails' on hindwings
  • Western tailed-blue (Cupido amyntula) has small 'tails' on hindwings
  • Arrowhead blue (Glaucopsyche piasus)
  • Greenish blue (Aricia saepiolus) has two rows of small black spots on the underside of both wings
  • Boisduval's blue (Aricia icarioides) has two rows of small black spots on the underside of both wings


Listed alphabetically:

  • G. l. afra (W. H. Edwards, 1884) – Afra (silvery) blue
  • G. l. arizonensis McDunnough, 1934 – Arizona silvery blue
  • G. l. australis (F. Grinnell, 1917) – southern (silvery) blue
  • G. l. columbia (Skinner, 1917) – Columbia blue or Skinner's (silvery) blue
  • G. l. couperi Grote, 1873 – Couper's silvery blue
  • G. l. deserticola (Austin & J. Emmel, 1998) – Mojave silvery blue
  • G. l. incognitus Tilden, 1974 – Behr's silvery blue
  • G. l. jacki Stallings & Turner, 1947 – Jack's (silvery) blue
  • G. l. lygdamus (Edward Doubleday, 1841) – (Georgian) silvery blue
  • G. l. mildredae F. Chermock, 1944 – Mildred's silvery blue
  • G. l. minipunctum (Austin, 1998) – mini-spotted silvery blue
  • G. l. nittanyensis (F. Chermock, 1944) – Appalachian silvery blue
  • G. l. oro Scudder, 1876 – oro (silvery) blue
  • G. l. palosverdesensis (E. Perkins & J. Emmel, 1977)Palos Verdes blue
  • G. l. pseudoxerces (Emmel & Emmel, 1998) – false Xerces (silvery) blue
  • G. l. sabulosa (Emmel, Emmel & Mattoon, 1998) – sand dune silvery blue
  • G. l. xerces (Boisduval, 1852)Xerces blue (extinct)
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