Mojave Dotted-Blue (Euphilotes mojave [Watson & W. R. Comstock])
Wing span: 3/4 - 7/8 inches (1.9 - 2.3 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male pale blue with narrow black borders; female blackish-brown with extensive blue at base. Hindwing has orange marginal hind restricted or absent. Underside similar to Pacific Dotted-Blue
Life history: Dotted Blues usually stay near their host plants. Males patrol around the host plants all day to find females. Eggs are laid singly on flowers or buds; caterpillars eat flowers and fruits and are tended by ants. Chrysalids hibernate in leaf litter.
Flight: One flight; Mid-March to June.
Caterpillar hosts: Low Eriogonum species, E. pusillum and E. reniforme.
Adult food: Flower nectar, especially from Eriogonum.
Habitat: Desert washes and sandy areas.
Range: Mojave Desert region of southeastern California, southern Nevada, southeastern Utah, and northwestern Arizona. A small isolated population in northern Baja California.
Conservation: Lives in a fragile habitat, increasingly being invaded by fire-susceptible cheatgrass.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G2,G3 - for species imperiled because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences), or because of other factors demonstrably making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range. (Endangered throughout its range). OR very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range . Subspecies virginiensis Austin is of more dire conservation concern.
Management needs: Conserve all habitats and maintain host plant populations for this species.
Emmel, T.C., editor. 1998. Systematics of Western North American Butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Fla. 878 pp. Emmel, T.C. and J.F. Emmel. 1973. The butterflies of southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles. 148 pages. 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