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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Leptotes marina
     Marine Blue

male upperside
male underside
female upperside
female underside

Size: wingspread .75-1 in.
Recognition: Upperside is brown with purple iridescence; underside is light brown and white pattern; males have white fringes while females do not.
Flight period: Adults can be active all year with their main flight lasting from March to October and peaking from July to fall.
Hostplants: Marine Blue larvae feed on leadworts (Plumbago species) especially in urban areas and various plants in the legume family (Fabaceae), such as alfalfa, sweet pea and milkvetch.
Habitat: Lowlands including gardens, parks, and waste areas; they are uncommon at higher elevations.
Distribution: Resident of southern North America and Central America, but flies through much of lower North America. In southern California, it is commonly found in urban situations and deserts. It has been recorded on both Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina islands.
Other: Common in urban settings due to the frequent use of plumbago as a decorative garden plant.

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