Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Shasta Blue
Plebejus shasta (W.H. Edwards, 1862)

Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Polyommatinae
Identification: Upperside of male lilac blue with a wide dark border; female darker, may have orange band at outer margin of hindwing. Both sexes with dark cell bars on fore- and hindwings. Underside of both sexes gray with black postmedian spots; other spots are dark gray. Hindwing outer margin with iridescent green spots capped by a light band.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 3 cm).
Life History: Males fly just above the ground to search for females. Eggs are laid singly on leaves of host plants; caterpillars feed on leaves and flowers. Where found above timberline, these butterflies require 2 years to mature, spending their first winter as eggs and the second winter as mature caterpillars.
Flight: One brood from June-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various Astragalus, Lupinus, and Trifolium species of the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Cushion-plant communities in forest openings, sagebrush hills, high plains, prairies, and alpine fell-fields.
Range: High elevations from Washington east to North Dakota and Nebraska; south to central California and Colorado.
Conservation: Not usually of conservation concern.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Not reported.
Comments: NULL
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