Cassiope Blue (Agriades cassiope Emmel and Emmel)
Wing span: 3/4 - 1 inches (2.1 - 2.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male metallic, pale gray-blue, female dark brown. Underside dark brown with pattern of black spots in white field on hindwing. Forewing submarginal black spots sq1uarish or oblong. Hindwing usually has black discal spot present.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on leaves, bracts, or sepals of the host plant. Caterpillars or chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight from early July to September.
Caterpillar hosts: Cassiope mertensiana.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Lush subalpine slopes.
Range: Limited range in California in Trinity Alps and near crest of Sierra Nevada.
Conservation: Study conservation needs, if any, of subspecies kelsoni Emmel and Emmel in Trinnity Alps.
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. Subspecies kelsoni is rank T1 - Critically imperiled because of extreme rarity (5 or fewer occurrences, or very few remaining individuals), or because of some factor of its biology making it especially vulnerable to extinction. (Critically endangered throughout its range).
Management needs: Study conservation needs and implement if necessary.
Emmel, T.C., editor. 1998. Systematics of Western North American Butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Fla. 878 pp. Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates.
Author: Paul A. Opler
State and Regional References:
Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif. Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from Entomological Reprint Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.] Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California. Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif. Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida. Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26. Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies. California Natural History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35. Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo. Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State University, Masters Thesis. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.