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Santa Barbara Field Guides _ Butterflies

     Philotiella speciosa
     Small Dotted Blue

male upperside
male underside
female upperside
female underside

Size: wingspread .7-.75 in.
Recognition: Male is light blue with black outer trim on wings; female is brown, sometimes with blue coloring also; underside of both sexes is light brown with black spots that are larger in the FW.
Flight period: The adults fly from mid March to May, taking advantage of the plethora of flower fields that appear in the deserts starting in spring.
Hostplants: The larvae feed on Oxytheca and Eriogonum species in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae).
Habitat: This Blue prefers fields and washes in desert areas. There are also specific mountain populations whose foodplants are still disputable.
Distribution: The range of the Small Dotted Blue includes mostly central California and southern Oregon, also southern California to northern Baja. The Mojave Desert stretching from Kern County into the Colorado Desert is a favorite locale. The mountain populations are most commonly known to be supported by the coastal mountains of California, such as in Ventura and Los Angelos counties.
Other: Nearly as tiny as the Western-Pygmy Blue, the Small Dotted Blue can be equally as tough to spot and its habit of flying low to the ground makes it an even more challenging find.

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