The Mt. Charleston blue butterfly is generally presumed to diapause (period of suspended growth or development similar to hibernation) at the base of the larval host plant or in the surrounding substrate for at least one season or possibly more. Adults live one season, typically a short span of time (2-4 weeks) during the known flight or breeding period. The typical flight and breeding period for the butterfly is early July to mid-August with a peak in late July, although the species has been observed as early as mid-June and as late as mid-September
Like most butterfly species, the Mt. Charleston blue butterfly is dependent on plants both during larval development (larval host plants) and the adult butterfly flight period (nectar plants). The Mt. Charleston blue butterfly requires areas that support Torrey’s milkvetch (Astragalus calycosus var. calycosus), the only known larval host plant for the subspecies. Torrey’s milkvetch and Clokey fleabane (Erigeron clokeyi) are the primary nectar plants for the subspecies; however, butterflies have also been observed nectaring on Lemmon’s bitterweed (Hymenoxys lemmonii) and Aster.
The wingspan of the Mt. Charleston blue butterfly ranges from ¾ to 1 inch. Males are dark to dull iridescent blue and females are brown with a blue overlay. Their underside is gray, with a pattern of black spots, brown blotches and pale wing veins to give it a mottled appearance.
More photos at: http://flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw