Friday, April 2, 2010

Morro blue butterfly

The Morro blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides moroensis, Family Lycaenidae), like the Pheres blue butterfly and the San Francisco tree lupine moth, lays its eggs on lupines. The name indicates that its range is found in the Morro Bay area in California. This butterfly depends on the presence of silver dune lupines (Lupinus chamissonis), a salt- and sand-tolerating plant species growing in coastal dune areas, such as those that are part of the Montaña de Oro State Park, south of Morro Bay and Los Osos. Visitors to the park will find the following information:
The life cycle of the Morro blue butterfly is associated with a single host plant, the dune lupine, where the species finds shelter, feeds and lays eggs. Its range is limited to a narrow strip of coastal dunes that have been significantly impacted by development and degradation.

References and resources
[1] W. T. Williams and J. R. Potter: The coastal strand community at Morro Bay State Park, California. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club July-August 1972, 99 (4), pp. 163-171. Abstract.
[2] California Coastal Commission: California's Coastal Sand Dunes.
[3] Icaricia icarioides moroensis.

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