Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Boisduval's Blue Plebejus icarioides (Icaricia icarioides)


enlarge +

Boisduval's Blue, Female
credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Alternate name: Common Blue

Family: Lycaenidae, Gossamer-wing Butterflies view all from this family

Description Boisduval's Blue (Aricia icarioides) is a butterfly of the Lycaenidae family found in North America.

A. icarioides has been classified in at least four different genera since it was named by Boisduval in 1852. It started out in Lycaena, was transferred to Icaricia by Nabokov (Hodges et al., 1983), moved to Aricia by B∑lint and Johnson (1997), merged with some other genera in the supergenus Plebejus by Gorbunov (2001), which was accepted by Opler & Warren (2003), however, Lamas (2004) among others use Aricia. Synonymy, subgenera, and subspecies vary considerably depending on the author.

Their range extends throughout the western US and Canada from southern Saskatchewan to British Columbia.

Larvae feed on species of lupines (Lupinus).

Wingspan: 21 to 32 mm.

Dimensions 1-1 3/8" (25-35 mm).

Endangered Status Two subspecies of the Boisduval's Blue are on the U.S. Endangered Species List. The Fenderís Blue is classified as endangered in Oregon, and the Mission Blue is classified as endangered in California. Both of these subspecies have suffered as development has eliminated the plant species that they need in order to complete their life cycle.

Habitat Alpine & subalpine habitats, Canyons & caves, Shorelines & salt marshes, Freshwater swamps, marshes & bogs, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Meadows & fields, Grasslands & prairies.

Range Plains, Southwest, Northwest, Western Canada, California, Rocky Mountains.