Sierra Nevada Blue (Agriades podarce [Felder and Felder])
Wing span: 7/8 - 1 inches (2.2 - 2.6 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male gray-blue, female red-brown. Underside of forewing with black arrowhead-shaped spots that point inward. Hindwing with discal spot not black.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on leaves, bracts, or sepals of the host plant. Caterpillars or chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight from June-September.
Caterpillar hosts: Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon).
Adult food: Flower nectar including yellow composites and bistort.
Habitat: Subalpine meadows.
Range: Southern Oregon to central California in Klamath Range and Sierra Nevada.
Conservation: Not usually of conservation concern but the meadow habitat of subspecies podarce in California may be negatively affected by trampling from grazing cattle and hikers.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3,G4 - . Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range OR Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery. All subspecies are of conservation concern.
Management needs: Study impact of hikers and cattle grazing on habitat and populations.
Comment: The Committee on Scientific Names of North American Butterflies considers podarce to be a subspecies of A. glandon.
Emmel, T.C., editor. 1998. Systematics of Western North American Butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Fla. 878 pp. Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986.California Butterflies. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. 246 pp, 24 plates. Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO.
Author: Paul A. Opler
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.