Butterflies on flowers are a captivating combo, but what about butterflies on scat? An eww for us is a yum for them. They readily suck up vital salts and other minerals from the waste. This species of butterfly falls in a subfamily of butterflies known as the blues because …well, the top-side of their wings is blue in color. They are generally one of the first blues seen each year. Females lay their eggs on flower buds of host plants and the larvae feed on the buds and opening flowers. While not well understood, the larvae are tended (protected) by ants and may actually pupate in ant nests. They can be found in the US in the inland northwest and southwest Canada. There is a lot of debate as to the subspecies breakdown and many names currently appear to be interchangeable depending on the source. And as you can see from the two photos, they can also vary considerably in color and pattern.
Photos by Marirose Kuhlman on 5/16/20 near Lolo, MT