Philotes sonorensis ssp. extinctis Mattoni

Disappeared Sonoran Blue (Philotes sonorensis ssp. extinctis 

The Sonoran Blue (Philotes sonorensis (C. Felder & R. Felder)) is distributed from Colorado and California, USA southward to parts of Mexico.  

The caterpillars of this species feed on the leaves of various Dudleya species, including Dudleya cymosa (Lem.) Britton & Rose, Dudleya lanceolata (Nutt.) Britt. & Rose, and Dudleya saxosa (M. E. Jones) Britt. & Rose.  


The Disappeared Sonoran Blue occurred in a small area at the San Gabriel River in southern California, and disappeared in 1967 or 1968 after the destruction of its habitat due to an engineering program for water diversion – it was recognized as a distinct subspecies (the only other subspecies aside from the nominate race) only several years after its extinction.  



[1] Rudolf H. T. Mattoni: An unrecognized, now extinct, Los Angeles area butterfly (Lycaenidae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 28(4): 297-309. 1989(91)  


Depiction from: ‘Reise der österreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858, 1859 unter den Befehlen des Commodore B. von Wüllerstorf-Urbair. Wien, aus der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei 1861-1875’ 

(public domain)


edited: 01.11.2020