Alberta, Canada
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Melissa Blue
Lycaeides melissa
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General Description

By Nora Bryan

The Melissa Blue is found across the prairies, parkland and Peace River areas, while itís almost look-alike, the Northern Blue calls the mountains and northern forests home. Look for the beautiful Melissa Blue in sandy areas any time it is good butterfly-finding weather, for they are out and about from may through September.

You might be able to sneak up on a patrolling male while it sips at nectar or indulges in a good mud puddle. This small blue butterfly has a wingspan of 20 to 30 mm (ĺ to 1 ľ in.). You can tell it apart from all other Blues except the Northern Blue by the well-defined orange aurora on the underside of the hind wing and often on the forewing too, in addition to some iridescent blue spots on the outer edge of the orange aurora. There are also a number of black spots on both underwing surfaces. The upper wing surface of the maleís wings is an iridescent lilac blue while those of the female are browner but decorated with an orange aurora.

The hairy green caterpillars are green with a darker green stripe down the back and paler stripes on the sides. They usually munch on leguminous plants. Interestingly, ants tend the caterpillars.

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Where to find Melissa Blues in Alberta   

There is currently no information regarding this species in our Where & When database.

Melissa Blue Behaviour   

No observations regarding Melissa Blue behavior have been submitted to the database yet.

Interesting Facts about Melissa Blues   

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Melissa Blue Stories from our Readers   

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Recent Melissa Blue Reports in Alberta

No. Location Reporter Date
12 round 2011/07/15
1 Town of Brooks round 2011/07/06
3 Town of Brooks round 2011/07/05
1 Town of Brooks round 2011/06/29
1 Town of Brooks round 2011/06/19

Melissa Blue Hotspots in Alberta

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