© 2018-19 by Neil Henning Björklund

Doral View

Umatilla NWR, Umatilla Co, September 4

Western Pygmy Blue

Brephidium exilis

Size: 0.5 - 0.75 inches wingspan

Key ID features:  Very small.  Dark orangey-brown above, sometimes with blue patches next to body.  HW above with white fringe and indistinct, variable submarginal band of blackish spots. FW below, disjointed white lines on orange-brown background. HW below with brown or blue bands edged in white, and marginal row of bold black spots with metallic blue or silver centers next to submarginal white band. 

Similar species: No similar species in Oregon.

 

Host plant: Various species in the pigweed family, including Saltbush (Atriplex), Pigweed (chenopodium) and Russian thistle (Salsola kali).

Habitat: Desert lowlands and flats, including disturbed areas. ​

Range: Primarily SE Oregon in Lake, Harney and Malheur counties, but expands north in some years.

Season: Mid-July to late September

Abundance: Uncommon

 

Conservation Status: Secure