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Melissa Blue

Millican Flats, Deschutes Co, June 21


Plebejus melissa

Size: 1.0 - 1.25 inch wingspan

Key ID features:  Male shiny violet-blue above with black marginal line and white fringe. Female brown above with scalloped orange marginal band, clearer and bolder on HW.  Below, brownish-gray with bold black spots, with submarginal row of orange patches, bordered inwardly with black and a row of black spots, which on HW have bold patch of iridescent blue bordered by black.

Similar species: Male Acmon and Lupine Blues have orange band on HW above, and females of those species have no orange on FW above. Orange borders of Northern Blues below are less bold. 

Host plant: Legumes, including lupines, lotuses, milkvetches and many others.

Habitat: Hot, low to mid-elevation prairies and meadows, as well as disturbed areas like agricultural fields. ​

Range: Found throughout eastern Oregon and in southern Klamath County, and Jackson County.

Season: Late April to late September

Abundance: Common 


Conservation Status: Secure

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