Euphilotes speciosa speciosa

Small Blue

The Small Blue can be a rare butterfly, difficult to find and easy to overlook. Gordan Pratt published a "reliable location": In-Ko-Pah gorge at 1000' elevation, and that is where I found it in late March of 2020 after about an hour of searching both sides of the interstate. I did not find any obvious hostplant, which I expect would be Eriogonum reniforme at this location.

There are taxonomic issues I expect will be dealt with in the coming years. On a listserve, Nick Grishin reported that DNA testing showed that these southern Small Blues are probably a different species from the purisima in Santa Barbara county, and it also appears that purisima is the same as the speciosa in the southern and western Sierra Nevadas. That appears to include the speciosa flying at the type locality of Havilah.

Euphilotes dammersi dammersi - Dammers' Dotted Blue
It took awhile, but I finally found this small blue at In-Ko-Pah Gorge in Imperial Co., not far from the town of Ocotillo. March 28, 2020.
Euphilotes dammersi dammersi - Dammers' Dotted Blue
Same one as above. These are known for being difficult to track; I was able to follow it to several flowers before losing sight of it.

©Dennis Walker