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Species Page - Icaricia icarioides
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scientific name    Icaricia icarioides    

common name     Boisduval's Blue

Praire grassland and dry montane meadows where lupines are common.

One flight per year, peaking in June and July depending on elevation.

Boisduval's Blue lacks orange markings on the hindwing underside, and the hindwing spots are prominently ringed with white; most similar to the Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus), but the forewing underside spots are much more prominent than those of the hindwing, while the Greenish Blue has equally well-marked fore- and hindwing markings. Boisduval's males also lack the forewing upperside discal spot found in saepiolus. Balint & Johnson (1997) and Gorbunov (2001) provide alternative genus placement interpretations.

life history
The immature stages have been described by Comstock and Dammers (1935) from California; the egg is greenish white, and mature larvae are green with a pale dorsal and lateral stripe and pale oblique lateral bands. The pupa is green and chestnut red. Eggs are laid on the leaves or seed pods of the host plant, and hibernate as full-grown second instar larvae in California (Newcomer 1911, Comstock and Dammers 1935). Trichogramma wasps (Trichogrammatidae) parasitize the eggs (Downey 1962), and larvae are attacked by the braconid wasp Apanteles theclae Riley and tachinid flies (Downey 1962, Newcomer 1911). Larvae are tended by ants in BC (Guppy & Shepard 2001) and elsewhere (Downey 1962).

Not of concern.

diet info
The larval host plant is not reported for Alberta, but is undoubtedly one or more species of lupine (Lupinus spp.). Many species of lupine have been reported as hosts in the western US (Scott 1986), although colonies are only ever associated with one species in a given locality (Guppy & Shepard 2001).

Central BC and southern Alberta south to Baja California and New Mexico (Opler 1999); there are also populations in the Cypress Hills of Alberta / Saskatchewan and extreme south-central Saskatchewan (Layberry et al. 1998).

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Specimen Info
There are 84 specimens of this species in the online database
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Specimen List (84)


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