Icaricia icarioides evius

'Evius' Boisduval's Blue

Boisduval's blues in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains are subspecies evius. Males are a beautiful pale blue with silvery veins and black borders, while females vary, with blue at the base often blending into tan coloration and with wide borders on the forewings and a row of small orange markings along the bottom of the hind wing. Both sexes may be found in patches of lupines, the larval host. In the San Bernardinos, Lupinus andersonii seems to be a favorite (as at Green Canyon, Siberia Creek Trail, and a colony near Heaps Peak Arboretum). There is one brood, flying from approximately mid-May into mid-July most years for higher elevation mountain colonies; earlier at lower elevations. Early instar larvae feed after the flights and then overwinter at the base of the plant, sometimes tended by ants in their burrows. Before flights the next spring, the larvae finish their development and pupate.

The naming of this butterfly is credited to Boisduval, who had received a few males from Lorquin, who had been in California during the gold rush (see the brief description below). In an article in the Systematics book (p.29), Emmel, Emmel and Mattoon restricted the type locality to La Cresenta in Los Angeles based on the likelihood that Lorquin collected his specimens there in the 1850s.

Icaricia icarioides evius - 'Evius' Boisduval's Blue
Male Icaricia icarioides evius, 'Evius' Boisduval's Blue, in Icehouse Canyon, San Gabriels. June 19, 2007.
Icaricia icarioides evius - 'Evius' Boisduval's Blue
A female Boisduval's blue on host lupines near Heap's Peak Arboretum near Lake Arrowhead. June 15, 2020.
Icaricia icarioides evius - 'Evius' Boisduval's Blue
A female 'Evius' Boisduval's Blue at Siberia Creek Trail near Big Bear. June 27, 2006.
Icaricia icarioides evius - 'Evius' Boisduval's Blue
To show more variety, another female Boisduval's Blue, Glendora Ridge Road, San Gabriels, May 17, 2007.
Icaricia icarioides evius - 'Evius' Boisduval's Blue
Ventral of a female Icaricia icarioides evius at Siberia Creek Trail on July 19, 2005.
Icaricia icarioides evius - 'Evius' Boisduval's Blue
Another male Icaricia icarioides evius. This one was also part of a colony at a big turnout along Rim of the World Drive near Heaps Peak Arboretum; there is a female a few photos above from the same day. Note the lack of a small black bar in the middle of the forewing, which in some situations helps distinguish this male blue from males of Icaricia saepiolus hilda that may be in the general area.
Boisduval's original description of Icaricia icarioides evius
Boisduval's description of males received from Lorquin. From his 1869 article "Lépidoptéres de la Californie" in the journal Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique, Vol.12, p.49.

©Dennis Walker