This species has a patchy range which covers southern British Columbia and Alberta south to central California, and extends east to Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. It occurs through most of the southern half of Idaho.
It occurs in dry, often hilly areas, including sagebrush steppe, mountainsides, forest openings, fields, and along roads. It is always found in conjunction with lupines (Lupinus spp.).
Caterpillars feed at night on lupines (Lupinus spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar, often from wild buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.) and yellow flowers belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae).
Eggs are laid in the fall, overwinter, and hatch in the spring. There is only one generation of caterpillars each year. The caterpillar is equipped with a honey gland, also known as a dorsal nectary organ, which emits a sugary solution agreeable to ants. The ants feed on the solution and in turn protect the caterpillar from predators. Each caterpillar undergoes four stages of growth, called instars. Adults generally fly from mid-June to August. This species resembles females of the species Plebejus icariodes, the Common Blue, in both appearance and ecology.
Males patrol in search of receptive females and sometimes perch to wait for them. Greenish white eggs are laid singly on lupines or on nearby leaf litter.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G4; population levels are secure, but may be of concern in the future.|
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