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Butterflies of Kansas -- Leptotes marina

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Kansas

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:

Ely, C., Schwilling, M.D., and M.E. Rolfs. 1986. An Annotated List of the 
     Butterflies of Kansas. Fort Hays Studies (Science) 7,  Fort Hays State 
     University, Fort Hays, Kans.

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Marine Blue (Leptotes marina)
distribution map
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