Melissa Blue

Plebejus melissa

Appearance: Male is blue above, dusky white below with scattered black spots. Near outer edge of both wings below a prominent orange spot band with tiny blue-green iridescent spots outward. Female is brown above with some blue showing marked by an outer orange band on both wings.

Size: Small; 7/8 to 1 3/8 inches

Habitat: Wide variety including agricultural land, disturbed areas, prairies, sagebrush steppes, mountain meadows in pine forests, as well as summits of mountain peaks

Season: May to August

Larval Foodplant: A variety of legumes of the pea family including lupines, and alfalfa

Did You Know…
Formerly known as the “Orange-bordered Blue,” it also occurs in the northeast as a subspecies, the Karner Blue. It was named by the famous novelist, Vladimir Nobokov.

Species Gallery (click to enlarge)