North American Butterflies and Moths List

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Sierra Nevada Blue (Agriades podarce)
JPG -- species photo
More Images

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

Sierra Nevada Blue (Agriades podarce)
distribution map
map legend

Return to species list
Return to Butterflies of North America main page