Western Pygmy Blue

Brephidium exilis

Order: 

Lepidoptera

Family: 

Lycaenidae

The Brephidium exilis is a butterfly that maintains physical attributes such as copper brown with dull blue at the base of the upper-side wing.  Meanwhile, the underside of the wing is characterized as copper brown with white at the base with three small black dots.  Size-wise, the wing-span ranges from 1.2-2.0 cm within the adult butterflies.  Caterpillars inhabit various plants such as pigweed, saltbush plant species, and other goosefoot.  While the caterpillars feed on these plants previously stated above, the adult butterflies utilize flower nectar as a food source.  Habitats of the Brephidium exilis include alkaline areas such as deserts, salt marshes, and wastelands.  In respect to the geographic distribution of the Western Pygmy Blue, the species can be found ranging from central California to southern Nevada and central New Mexico (1).  An interesting fact is that the species displays a classic source-sink meta-population dynamic (2).

(1) “Western Pygmy-Blue Brephidium exilis.” Butterflies and Moths of North America, Metalmark Web and Data, https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Brephidium-exilis.

(2) “Brephidium exile.” Art Shapiro’s Butterfly Site, University of California, Davis, http://butterfly.ucdavis.edu/doc/copyright.