Square-spotted Blue - Euphilotes battoides
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.1-1.3 cm. Forewing fringe white with black checkers. Uppersurface of males blue with black outer margin with or without trace of orange aurora on hindwing outer margin, females brown often with orange aurora on hindwing outer margin. Undersurface gray-white with black spotting heavy and squarish (more so on forewing), hindwing orange submarginal band usually of bold and fused spots, lacking distal submarginal metallic scales.
One flight; June to July for the glaucon subspecies (Scott 1986). Late May to early August for the glaucon subspecies (Glassberg 2001). July to September in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), late March to early August in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002), mid-June to early August in Oregon (Warren 2005), mid-May to late July in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001).
Difficult to distinguish in field from Euphilotes ancilla based on external characters; data on flight date, exact locality, larval hostplant very useful, and determination may ultimately require genitalia dissection (Glassberg 2001; Guppy and Shepard 2001). Helpful characteristics include presence of the submarginal orange aurora on both surfaces of the hindwing, on the undersurface the orange aurora usually bold with fused spots and lacking distal submarginal metallic scales; wing fringes white and checkered, undersurface suffused basally with gray, forewing undersurface with prominent black spots squarish, somewhat larger than on forewing.
Southern British Columbia south to southern California, east to western Montana, southwestern Idaho, southwestern Colorado, western new Mexico (Opler and Wright 1999); 1524 m to 2896 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957; Scott and Scott 1978), 1830 m to 2592 m elevation elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), 914 m to 2134 m elevation in Oregon (Warren 2005), 1500 m to 2200 m elevation in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001). In Montana, reported from six counties (Beaverhead, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Missoula, Ravalli) in the western 1/5 of the state (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993; FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database; Butterflies and Moths of North America database). Uncommon to locally common in the Pacific Northwest for the glaucon subspecies (Glassberg 2001).
Open habitats such as coastal dunes, sagebrush-steppe, desert canyons, open woodland, dry slopes and hillsides, exposed ridges, above treeline in alpine terrain (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002). Habitat in Montana not described, but probably similar.
Larval food plants include at several species of Eriogonum (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006; Matonni 1988; Pyle 2002; Warren 2005), at least five of which (E. flavum, heracloides, ovalifolium, sphaerocephalum, umbellatum) are larval food plants for Euphilotes battoides glaucon, the subspecies which occurs in Montana. Adults feed on flower nectar (especially Eriogonum), dung, and mud (Scott 2014).
Females lay eggs singly on host plant flowers (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). Eggs hatch in about 5 days, reach L4 instar and pupate in about 30 days after oviposition. Larvae solitary, feed on flowers and fruits, build no nests, overwinters in litter or soil as pupae (Scott 1979, 1986; James and Nunnallee 2011). Larvae-ant association apparently not yet reported but likely, as has been documented for other species of Euphilotes (Ballmer and Pratt 1991). Males patrol throughout the day near host plants in search of females (Scott 1975b, 1986).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Ballmer, G.R. and G.F. Pratt. 1991. Quantification of ant attendance (myrmecophily) of lycaenid larvae. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 30(1-2): 95-112.
- Brown, F.M. 1957. Colorado Butterflies. Proceedings; Numbers Three through Seven. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, Co.
- Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown (eds). 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountains. Univ. of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 442 pp.
- Glassberg, J. 2001. Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America. Oxford University Press.
- Guppy, C.S. and J.H. Shepard. 2001. Butterflies of British Columbia: including western Alberta, southern Yukon, the Alaska Panhandle, Washington, northern Oregon, northern Idaho, northwestern Montana. UBC Press (Vancouver, BC) and Royal British Columbia Museum (Victoria, BC). 414 pp.
- James, D.G. and D. Nunnallee. 2011. Life histories of Cascadia butterflies. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press. 447 p.
- Kohler, S. 1980. Checklist of Montana Butterflies (Rhopalocera). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 1-19.
- Mattoni, R.H.T. 1988. The Euphilotes battoides complex: recognition of a species and description of a new subspecies (Lycaenidae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 27(3-4):173-185.
- Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Second edition. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 540 pp.
- Pyle, R.M. 2002. The butterflies of Cascadia: a field guide to all the species of Washington, Oregon, and surrounding territories. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington. 420 pp.
- Scott, J.A. 1975b. Mate-locating behavior of western North American butterflies. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 14:1-40.
- Scott, J.A. 1979. Hibernal diapause of North American Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18(3): 171-200.
- Scott, J.A. 1986. The butterflies of North America: a natural history and field guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
- Scott, J.A. 1992. Hostplant records for butterflies and skippers (mostly from Colorado) 1959-1992, with new life histories and notes on oviposition, immatures, and ecology. Papilio new series #6. 185 p.
- Scott, J.A. 2006. Butterfly hostplant records, 1992-2005, with a treatise on the evolution of Erynnis, and a note on new terminology for mate-locating behavior. Papilio new series #14. 74 p.
- Scott, J.A. 2014. Lepidoptera of North America 13. Flower visitation by Colorado butterflies (40,615 records) with a review of the literature on pollination of Colorado plants and butterfly attraction (Lepidoptera: Hersperioidea and Papilionoidea). Contributions of the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthopod Diversity. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 190 p.
- Scott, J.A. and G.R. Scott. 1978. Ecology and distribution of the butterflies of southern central Colorado. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 17(2): 73-128.
- Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies: including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Unpubl. Report. Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado 275 pp.
- Warren, A.D. 2005. Lepidoptera of North America 6: Butterflies of Oregon, their taxonomy, distribution, and biology. Contributions of the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Colorado State University. Fort Collins, Colorado. 406 pp.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Allen, T.J., J.P. Brock, and J. Glassberg. 2005. Caterpillars in the field and garden: a field guide to the butterfly caterpillars of North America. Oxford University Press.
- Brock, J.P. and K. Kaufman. 2003. Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY 284 pp.
- Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. LaFontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press. 280 pp. + color plates.
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