Butterfly Listing by Common Name (Family Lycaenidae)


The Gossamer-wings are a very diverse and complex family with at least 4750 species worldwide. In California, they can be grouped into the coppers (subfamily Lycaeninae), the blues (subfamily Polyommatinae), and the hairstreaks (subfamily Theclinae). Many species have mutualistic relationships with ants (myrmecophily) where the caterpillar excretes complex carbohydrates through specialized glands for the ants (similar to aphids). In return, the ants defend the caterpillar from predators and parasitoids. While this relationship is usually facultative, the mutualism turns into trickery in some Lycaenid species and the butterfly caterpillars switch from being herbivores to become obligate predators on ant larvae inside the ant mound. As long as the caterpillar continues to produces sugary rewards for the ants, the ants are willing to accept, or are oblivious to, the carnage around them. Other Lycaenid caterpillars are predators on aphids being tended by ants.

Lycaeides melissa melissa "Agricultural" Melissa Blue
Lycaeides melissa melissa
Brephidium exile (Western) Pygmy Blue
Brephidium exile
Plebejus acmon Acmon Blue
Plebejus acmon
Lycaeides idas anna Anna Blue
Lycaeides idas anna
Glaucopsyche piasus Arrowhead Blue
Glaucopsyche piasus
Satyrium behrii Behr's Hairstreak
Satyrium behrii
Lycaena heteronea Blue Copper, "Varied Blue"
Lycaena heteronea
Callophrys dumetorum Bramble Hairstreak
Callophrys dumetorum
Satyrium californica California Hairstreak
Satyrium californica
Lycaena arota virginiensis Desert Tailed Copper
Lycaena arota virginiensis
Euphilotes enoptes Dotted Blue
Euphilotes enoptes
Everes comyntas Eastern Tailed Blue
Everes comyntas
Lycaena editha Edith's Copper
Lycaena editha
Satyrium auretorum Gold-Hunter's Hairstreak
Satyrium auretorum
Habrodais grunus Golden Hairstreak, Golden Oak Hairstreak
Habrodais grunus
Lycaena gorgon Gorgon Copper
Lycaena gorgon
Agriades podarce Gray Blue
Agriades podarce
Strymon melinus Gray Hairstreak, Common Hairstreak
Strymon melinus
Lycaena xanthoides Great Copper
Lycaena xanthoides
Atlides halesus Great Purple Hairstreak
Atlides halesus
Plebejus saepiolus Greenish Blue
Plebejus saepiolus
Plebejus icarioides Icarioides Blue, Boisduval's Blue
Plebejus icarioides
Mitoura johnsoni Johnson's Hairstreak
Mitoura johnsoni
Mitoura gryneus chalcosiva Juniper Hairstreak
Mitoura gryneus chalcosiva
Callophrys sheridanii lemberti Lembert's Green Hairstreak
Callophrys sheridanii lemberti
Plebejus lupini Lupine Blue
Plebejus lupini
Lycaena cupreus Lustrous Copper
Lycaena cupreus
Leptotes marina Marine Blue
Leptotes marina
Lycaena mariposa Mariposa Copper
Lycaena mariposa
Incisalia mossii Moss' Elfin
Incisalia mossii
Satyrium tetra Mountain-Mahogany Hairstreak
Satyrium tetra
Mitoura gryneus nelsoni Nelson's Hairstreak
Mitoura gryneus nelsoni
Lycaena helloides Purplish Copper
Lycaena helloides
Hemiargus isola Reakirt's Blue
Hemiargus isola
Lycaena rubidus Ruddy Copper
Lycaena rubidus
Satyrium saepium Sepia Hairstreak
Satyrium saepium
Plebejus shasta Shasta Blue
Plebejus shasta
Glaucopsyche lygdamus Silvery Blue
Glaucopsyche lygdamus
Lycaena nivalis Snowy Copper, Lilac-Bordered Copper
Lycaena nivalis
Philotes sonorensis Sonoran Blue
Philotes sonorensis
Satyrium fuliginosum semiluna Sooty Gossamer-Wing
Satyrium fuliginosum semiluna
Satyrium fuliginosum fuliginosum Sooty Gossamer-Wing
Satyrium fuliginosum fuliginosum
Celastrina ladon echo Spring Azure, Echo Blue
Celastrina ladon echo
Euphilotes battoides Square-Spotted Blue
Euphilotes battoides
Lycaena arota arota Tailed Copper
Lycaena arota arota
Mitoura spinetorum Thicket Hairstreak
Mitoura spinetorum
Incisalia augustinus iroides Western Brown Elfin
Incisalia augustinus iroides
Incisalia eryphon Western Pine Elfin
Incisalia eryphon
Everes amyntula Western Tailed Blue
Everes amyntula
Satyrium sylvinus Willow Hairstreak
Satyrium sylvinus