Lycaena heteronea clara
Bright Blue Copper
Lycaena heteronea clara, with its "bright blue" males, is a sought-after copper of the summer months. It flies in a single brood from June or July into August, as its preferred host, Eriogonum heermannii, is blooming. It may also use E. umbellatum or perhaps even E. fasciculatum. Yet where those plants are common, the butterfly can be difficult to find without some luck (in my limited experience searching for it).
True clara is from the Tehachapis, the type locality. I'm not sure whether it still flies there, however. From there, populations exist to the north into the Piutes (I failed to see any at a known location for them on July 9, 2017, which was perhaps a bit early), and then further on clara is replaced by ssp. submaculata as you get into Tulare Co. and the Sierras. To the west of the Tehachapis, it is well-known from populations in the Lebec/Frazier Park/Lake of the Woods region. Those are considered clara, but they differ enough from the Tehachapi population that they may eventually be given a different name.
The type locality of nominate heteronea is just north of San Francisco on the coast, where Lorquin collected it, but there are populations in much of the western U.S. and into Canada in a variety of habitats. Our subspecies clara is at the extreme southwestern edge of this species' range. Whether that "edge" is creeping northward is something I'm sure we'll learn in the years to come.