Singing the Blues

Jim Taylor drivingiron at
Mon Jul 14 06:44:53 EDT 2003


Until you get Yahoo! working, please don't send 'leventy-'leven pics in .jpg
format to MY computer. I thought my server had gone ape. Further, I don't
even LIKE butterflies.

Jim Taylor
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Klein" <keps2 at>
To: "SoWestLep" <SoWestLep at>; "Leps-L"
<leps-l at>; "TILS" <TILS-leps-talk at>
Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 6:36 PM
Subject: Singing the Blues

> I have attached a few dorsal and ventral of some males and females of an
> Arrowhead Blue (Glaucopsyche piasus) and Boiduval's Blue (Plebejus
> icariodes) located in San Diego County at a location called Guatay.  It is
> within the foothills of the Cuyamaca Mountains at an elevation of
> approximately 3,300 feet.  These were recorded on 5/18/03.
> Hopefully this can be an instructional time for all of us as to how
> just these 2 species can be based upon non-regional field guides.  As well
> meaning as field guides are to be, (and I appreciate all of the more
> ones) they sometimes do not capture all of the subtle variations local
> regions can have.  Having experienced the southern Sierra's last year with
> Ken Davenport, I can appreciate the overwhelming frustration he can
> sometimes run into.
> I was attempting to identify them to subspecies level when I stumbled into
> road block:
> For Arrowhead Blue, I started with the Butterflies of Southern California
> Emmel and Emmel (even though some things are old, it is still a very good
> reference).  I also used the Systematics of Western North American
> Butterflies by Emmel.  Here is where I have stumbled - According to
> Systematics a subspecies umbrosa has a type locality for San Diego County
> near Big Laguna Lake in the Laguna Mountains approximately 20 miles away.
> It states that the host plant is Lupinus formosus.  When you try to
> the specimen to the book's photos (not the best) my Guatay speciman does
> match.  It actually resembles more to subspecies excubita but according to
> Systematics this subspecies only gets as far south as the east slope of
> Sierra Nevada in Kern County and is closely associated with Lupinus
> excubita.  Well where my specimens are located in Guatay, all that is
> is Lupinus excubita.  I even photographed eggs within the inflorescence of
> the lupine.  So is it umbrosa where not host plant is found or is this
> excubita or even a possible new undescribed subspecies?  One of the things
> you might notice on the male and female dorsal hindwings are subtle orange
> margins, which none of the field guides show for this species.
> For Boiduval's Blue, I started with the SoCal book and in San Diego County
> have always believed our subspecies was evius.  But according to the SoCal
> book its hostplant is Lupinus densiflorus var. glareosus.  Since this is
> older book I decided to look at Systematics.  Evius was not discussed but
> new subspecies - argusmontana was described but its range is Inyo County.
> When I compare the photos to my specimens, they appear to be similar and
> they had the same hostplant (Lupinus excubitus).  I have photographed a
> mating pair on excubitus since that is the only lupine at this location.
> So, Is it possible that the hostplant information for evius needs to be
> updated or do we have another subspecies in San Diego County not
> reported?
> As I mentioned earlier, as much as I support and enjoy 'North American'
> butterfly books or even Western U.S. books, regional or local guides may
> still be the better resource to be able to capture the local variation.
> I am hoping that some of the Southern California experts can input to this
> email so that I can have a better understanding as well as instruction
> others from around the country.
> Michael Klein
> San Diego
> P.S. Sorry for posting the photos this way, I seem to have troubles still
> getting things to work properly on Yahoo.


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