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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Philotes sonorensis
     Sonoran Blue

male upperside
male underside
female upperside
female underside

Size: wingspread .75-1 in.
Recognition: Very distinctive; fantastically bright blue with colorful red-orange markings; male can be brighter than female, while the female can have more red-orange areas; underside is mixed shades of gray with row of black spots on FW and more orange coloring.
Flight period: January to June is the typical flight peroid of this well-known early spring butterfly.
Hostplants: The larvae feed on Dudleya species (Crassulaceae), escpecially choosing the colorfully pink/red flowered D.lanceolata plants.
Habitat: Found at lower mountain elevations and edges, in open or treed sunny areas, hillsides, or canyons.
Distribution: This unmistakable Blue flies in a strip through the middle of California, which is parallel to its range along the western side of California, including Santa Barbara County, and extending down into Baja California.
Other: This butterfly stands alone with no close relatives. Commonly believed to be named for Sonora, Mexico, this Blue actually takes its name from the California Gold Rush town of Sonora.

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