Appearance: Upperside of male iridescent silvery blue with narrow dark borders; female varies from mostly brown to mostly blue with wide borders. Both sexes have white fringe. Underside gray-brown; both wings with row of white-ringed, round black spots.
Size: Small; 7/8 to 1 1/4 inches
Habitat: Mountain meadows, open grasslands, trails and roadsides
Season: May to late July
Larval Foodplant: Golden banner, mountain lupine, milk vetches and other species in the pea family
Did You Know…
This species is believed to be tended by ants in a mutualistic relationship where the caterpillars provide a tasty secretion for the ants and they in turn protect the caterpillars from the ravages of parasitic wasps. Eggs are laid singly on flower buds and young leaves of the host plants. Caterpillars feed on flowers, seedpods, and young leaves. Overwinter in chrysalis stage.
Species Gallery (click to enlarge)