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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Plebejus lupinus
     Lupine Blue

male upperside
male underside
female upperside
female underside

Size: Wingspread .75-1.25 in.
Recognition: Male is blue with a greenish hue; female brown with some blue; undersides of both sexes light gray, with dark spots; both sexes have orange and black coloring along outer edge of HW; difficult to distinguish from Acmon Blue.
Flight period: The adults are active form May to July.
Hostplants: The larvae prefer buckwheats (Eriogonum species), specifically wild buckwheat (E. fasculatum), but also use lupines and some other legumes as well.
Habitat: Chaparral, oak forests, canyons, shrubby fields, and roadsides are habitats that the Lupine Blue frequents.
Distribution: This Blue ranges over much of the western U.S. In southern California, it is often observed in chaparral terrain along coastal mountains from San Lius Obispo to San Diego countes. Populations are also spread through the Tehachapi, Greenhorn, San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto mountains.
Other: The Lupine Blue used to be considered a subspecies of the Acmon Blue, but is now accepted as a separate species. They do look very similar, however, and their ranges overlap, especially in the western coasts of California.

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