North American Butterflies and Moths List

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The Registry of Nature Habitats
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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of California

Marine Blue (Leptotes marina)
JPG -- species photo

Marine Blue (Leptotes marina [Reakirt])

Wing span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).

Identification: Upperside blue; male with purple tinge, female with no white. Underside of forewing with unbroken pale brown bands from costa to inner margin.

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.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.

References:


Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the  Great Plains. Johns 

    Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates.



Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern  butterflies. Peterson 

    field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co.,  Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates.



Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford  University Press, 

    Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.



Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin Co., 

    Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:


Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja 

     California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif.



Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los 

     Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from 	Entomological Reprint 

     Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.]



Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California.

     Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif.



Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies.

     Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida.



Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. 

     Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26.



Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies.  California Natural

     History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los 

     Angeles.

     

Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal

     of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35.     



Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal

     of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296.     



Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 

     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.



Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of 

     Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine.



Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 

     Privately published, Denver, Colo.



Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History 

     of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State 

     University, Masters Thesis.



Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 

     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.



Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California 

     Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and 

     Los Angeles.

Marine Blue (Leptotes marina)
distribution map
map legend

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