Male is gray; female is golden tan. Cuyamaca State Park, San Diego County, CA. 8-28-11. © Diane Brodeur.

Melissa Blue

Plebejus melissa inyoensis

Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae

Back to Butterflies of Orange County, California
Back to Butterflies and their larval foodplants
Back to Arthropods of Orange County, California
Back to Natural History of Orange County, California

Flight Period: The San Diego populations fly from late May to early October, possibly representing two or more broods (Emmel and Emmel, 1973).

Larval Foodplants: A legume, G1ycyrrhiza lepidota, is recorded. Lupine (Lupinus spp. ) and locoweed (Astragalus* sp. ) are both probably utilized in the Frazier Park region of Kern County. All of the above plants occur in Orange County.

Other Remarks: The Villa Park capture is the only known record for Orange County. I have collected often in this location but have never seen melissa there. Lupine is a common plant in the area, and may be the foodplant if melissa is indeed resident here. The species could be more common in Orange County than records indicate, as it might easily be confused in flight with other common lycaenids. Enamel and Emmel (1973) treat southern California specimens provisionally as subspecies in Voensis, until a detailed study is made of the melis sa group.

From Orsak, L. J. (1977). The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Center for Pathobiology Miscellaneous Publication #3. University of California Press, New York. 349pp.