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