Plebejus lupini (Boisduval, 1869)
Identification: Upperside of male lilac blue with wide dark borders; female dark brown. Band at hindwing outer margin wide, orange-red, in male may be divided into separate chevrons.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).
Life History: Males patrol near the host plants for females. Eggs are laid singly on flowers, which the caterpillars eat. Second-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: In the Sierra Nevada of California, one flight from June-August; elsewhere, several flights from March-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Several species of perennial wild buckwheat including sulfur flower (Eriogonum umbellatum) and flat top (Eriogonum fasciculatum) in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Alpine slopes, mountain meadows and slopes, prairies, rocky outcrops, chaparral, and sagebrush.
Range: Southwestern Canada south through much of mountainous and intermountain West and high plains to northern Mexico.
Conservation: Several populations, some unnamed, are highly local, and are of conservation concern.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Monitor status of populations, conserve habitats, and be vigilant for effects of exotic weeds.
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