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Boisduval’s Blue Butterfly

Scientific Name:

Plebejus icarioides




Boisduval’s Blue are found in a variety of habitats, including forest clearings, sagebrush, chaparral, coastal dunes and open fields.1


This butterflies’ range extends from British Columbia East to the Western edge of the Great Plains region, South to New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California, and Baja California.1


Least concern.

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


The upper side of the males’ wings is lilac blue with dark borders. Females vary in color from brown to blue, and typically have darker and wider borders. On the underside of the wings, large black or white spots are visible on both the forewings and the hindwings. 1
Wing span is around 3-3.5 cm.

Fast Facts:

  • During the caterpillar stage, species in this family have a mutualistic relationship with certain ant species. Ants will surround the caterpillar, protecting it from predators, and in return, the caterpillar will secrete a sugary, nutritious liquid, eaten by the ants.1,4

  • The larval host plant for this species is Lupine. Eggs are laid on the new growth of host plants. After emerging, half grown larva will enter a period of hibernation.3

  • This species is univoltine, meaning it only has one brood of offspring per year.2

  • Boisduval’s Blue butterflies belong to the Lycaenidae, or Gossamer winged butterfly family. It is the second largest family of butterflies in the world, representing around 40% of all known species.3


1 Boisduval’s Blue Plebejus icarioides (Boisduval, 1852) | Butterflies and Moths of North America. (n.d.).

2 NatureServe Explorer 2.0. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2024, from

3Lycaenidae Butterfly Family - Facts & Information. (2015, February 26).

4 Murphey, A. (2019, July 15). The butterflies who are raised by ants.


Katie Quinlivan (research & content)

Dayna Genio (web edits)

Last Updated:

June 21, 2024 at 4:34:28 PM

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