Status:  fairly common (local) resident

Flights:  2-3, Mar-Oct?

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  arid, alkaline lowlands; s. Parkfield Rd., Fort Ord, Elkhorn Slough

Habitats:  salt marshes, wastelands

Host plants: saltbush (Atriplex), pickleweed, others in goosefoot family

Adult foodflower nectar

Conservation: none needed


  1.   weak fliers, hover over food plants

  2.   migrates northward annually

  3.   smallest butterfly in U.S.

  4.   fem. larger with less blue


Western pygmy-blue Brephidium exile

Life history facts

egg: laid all over host, mostly undersides of leaves

larva: eat all plant parts

pupa: hibernate

adult:  males patrol host plants all day to find receptive females