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Species Page - Icaricia shasta
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scientific name    Icaricia shasta    

common name     Shasta Blue

Prairie badlands and sparsely vegetated hill- and ridge tops.

One yearly flight, peaking in late June to early July.

The underside pattern and small size are most similar to the Acmon Blue (I. acmon). Shasta, however, lacks the spot in the middle of the discal cell of the forewing underside; Shasta also has much smaller orange spots on the hindwing underside margin than both the Acmon and Melissa Blue (Lycaeides melissa). Alternative nomenclature at the genus level is presented by Balint & Johnson (1997) and Gorbunov (2001).

life history
There is no information available for Canadian populations. In the western US, the larva is variously coloured brown, white or green with darker dorsal and lateral stripes and oblique brown stripes, or solid green (Scott 1986). Pupae, which are often attached to the underside of a rock by a silk girdle, are equally variable in colour, ranging from tan to green (Scott 1986). The life cycle takes two years to complete in the US, hibernating as eggs and again as mautre larvae (Scott 1986).

No obvious concerns.

diet info
Larvae feed on a variety of legumes in the US, including species of Astragalus, Oxytropis, Trifolium and Lupinus (Scott 1986). Adults nectar at yellow composites (Bird et al. 1995).

Southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan south to Colorado and east-central California (Opler 1999).

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References (6)
Specimen Info
There are 9 specimens of this species in the online database
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Specimen List (9)


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