Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Marine Blue
Leptotes marina (Reakirt, 1868)


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Polyommatinae
Identification: Upperside blue; male with purple tinge, female with no white. Underside of forewing with unbroken pale brown bands from costa to inner margin.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).
Life History: Males patrol to find females. Eggs are laid singly on flower buds of the host plant; caterpillars eat flowers and seedpods.
Flight: April-September in the north, all through the year in South Texas and southern California.
Caterpillar Hosts: Leadwort (Plumbago) and many legumes including alfalfa (Medicago sativa), milkvetch (Astragalus), and mesquite (Prosopis).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical and southwestern open areas including mesquite scrub, city gardens, desert, alfalfa fields, and waste areas.
Range: Southern California east through the Southwest, Mexico and Baja California to Guatemala. Wanders and temporarily colonizes north to Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL