Leda Ministreak (Ministrymon leda [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 3/4 - 7/8 inch (1.9 - 2.2 cm).
Identification: Form "leda" has upperside of forewing brown with pale blue at the base; hindwing mostly pale blue. Form "ines" with larger areas of pale blue. Underside grayish; form "leda" with red postmedian line bordered by white; form "ines" has black postmedian line with little or no red.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on flowers of the host tree; caterpillars eat flowers.
Flight: Two flights: form "leda" from May-August; form "ines" from October-November.
Caterpillar hosts: Mesquite trees (Prosopis species) in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar including mesquite and seepwillow.
Habitat: Desert thorn scrub, mixed woodland.
Range: Mexico and Baja California north into southern Arizona and southern California.
Conservation: Not 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.
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:
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.