Facts

Lifecycle

Early February, the larvae that hatched last year wake from a deep sleep called diapause and begin to feed on lupines. Often, specific ant species walk back and forth on top of them, gathering sugary protein-rich secretions and in turn, protecting the larvae from predators. Larvae shed their skins as they grow, and soon form a chrysalis. In a couple of weeks, they emerge as adults with wings. Adults fly from Mid March until the end of July, feeding on floral nectars, mating, and laying eggs on lupines. By mid-summer, adult butterflies have died, lupine leaves have died back, and young larvae go down to the ground to begin their period of inactivity until next year.


Mission Blue eggs on silver lupine

Mission Blue eggs on silver lupine

Mission Blue first instar larva

Mission Blue first instar larva

Mission Blue chrysalis side view

Mission Blue chrysalis side view

Mission Blue larva and Prenolepis imparis

Mission Blue larva and Prenolepis imparis

Mission Blue larva feeding on lupine

Mission Blue larva feeding on lupine

Mission Blue female

Mission Blue female