Agriades glandon
Arctic Blue

Family Description:
Alternate Common Names:High Mountain Blue, Glandon Blue, Primrose Blue.
Note: This species is a complex made up of several species or subspecies, including A. aquilo, A. franklinii, A. rusticus, and A. podarce. This species is referred to with the genus name Plebejus by some authors.

Caterpillar: The caterpillar is green with red markings.
Adult: This is a small butterfly, with a wingspan of approximately one inch. Its appearance varies considerably depending on its location. The upperside of males is typically grayish to greenish blue, and appears iridescent. The forewing is bordered with black along the side, and there is a single black spot near the center. The hindwing may have a row of small black dots along the edge. Females are orangish brown on the upperside, possibly with patches of pale blue, and are marked similarly to males. Underneath, both sexes are grayish brown. The underside of the forewing is marked with white spots, possibly with tiny black centers; the hindwing may be spotted with white, black or both.

Generally, this species is found throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Specifically, it occurs commonly in the northwestern quarter of North America and patchily in the northeastern quarter. It also may be found in the mountainous regions of the southwestern U.S. In Idaho, it has been documented in the southeastern and central portions of the state.

Arctic Blues occur in harsher environments, such as tundra, alpine and subalpine forests and meadows, and bogs.

While records are sparse, it is thought that host plants include diapensia (Diapensia lapponica), shooting star (Dodecatheon spp.), rock-jasmine (Androsace septentionalis), and blueberry (Vaccinium spp.).

Adult: Butterflies use flower nectar for food.

Either caterpillars or pupae can overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. There is one generation each year. Adults generally fly from early May through late September.

Males actively patrol for receptive females near host plants. Females lay eggs singly on the bracts or sepals of host plants, or on the underside of leaves.

Idaho Status: Unprotected nongame species.
Global Rank: G5
populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.

Ferris, C. D. and F. M. Brown. (eds.) 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, USA, 442 pp.

Opler, P. A., H. Pavulaan, and R. E. Stanford. 1995. Butterflies of North America. Jamestown, North Dakota, USA: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page. (Version 05Nov98).

Opler, P. A. and A. B.Wright. 1999. A Field Guide to the Western Butterflies.   Second Edition.  Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York, USA, 540 pp.

Pyle, R. M. 1981. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, USA, 924 pp.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA, 583 pp.

Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western U.S.A. Butterflies (Including Adjacent Parts of Canada and Mexico). Published by authors, Denver, Colorado, USA, 275 pp.