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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Brephidium exile
     Western Pygmy Blue

male upperside
male underside
female upperside
female underside

Recognition: Very small; light brown with blue at inner wings, near body; underside is light brown and white pattern with more white on inner wings; also has white fringes.
Flight period: The adults of this Blue fly from March to October, or all year.
Hostplants: Pigweed (Chenopodium album) and saltbrush (Atriplex) are the hostplants for the larvae along with other Chenopodiaceae family plants, including a particular species of saltbrush that commonly grows in waste areas.
Habitat: They prefer salty areas, such as salt plains, deserts, coasts, and waste sites.
Distribution: A resident of central and southern California, it ranges over much of the U.S. The Western Pygmy Blue is a common butterfly in the deserts and lowlands of southern California and has been found everywhere from Furnace Creek in Death Valley ( 178 ft below sea level) to high in the Panamint mountains, although it is rare at higher elevations. It has been recorded on Santa Cruz and Catalina islands off of the California coast.
Other: The Western Pygmy Blue is one of the smallest butterflies in the world and can be tough to spot, however they can often be found around their hostplants.

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