The El Segundo blue (''Euphilotes battoides allyni'') is a rare
subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
of the square-spotted blue
butterfly Butterflies are insect Insects (from Latin ') are pancrustacean Hexapoda, hexapod invertebrates of the class (biology), class Insecta. They are the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three ...

. It is
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
to a small dune ecosystem in
Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a in the . With over 39.3million resi ...

Southern California
used to be a community
used to be a community
called Palisades del Rey, close to the
Los Angeles International Airport Los Angeles International Airport , commonly referred to as LAX (with each of its letters pronounced individually), is the primary international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an with extended faci ...

Los Angeles International Airport
(LAX). In 1976 it became a federally designated
endangered species An endangered species is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group ...
. This butterfly’s habitat has been substantially reduced due to urban development and invasive plants, and it now exists as a handful of populations restricted to coastal dunes in the vicinity of Los Angeles. The El Segundo Blue Butterfly Habitat Preserve next to LAX exists to protect the subspecies. Until 2013, there are only three colonies of this tiny butterfly still in existence. The largest of these is on the grounds of LAX; a further colony exists on a site within the huge
Chevron Chevron (often relating to V-shaped patterns) may refer to: Science and technology * Chevron (aerospace) The turbofan or fanjet is a type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used in aircraft engine, aircraft propulsion. The word " ...
El Segundo oil refinery complex, and the smallest colony is an area of only a few square yards on a local beach. In 2013, the El Segundo blue was discovered living and breeding in the
Ballona Wetlands The Ballona Wetlands State Ecological Reserve are located in Los Angeles County, California, just south of Marina del Rey and east of Playa del Rey. The natural wetlands once included the areas now taken up by Marina del Rey, New Amsterdam Canals ...

Ballona Wetlands
, and its range now extends south to the
Palos Verdes Peninsula The Palos Verdes Peninsula (''Palos Verdes'', Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...
and some have been located in
Santa Barbara County Santa Barbara County, California, officially the County of Santa Barbara, is located in Southern California. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 423,895. The county seat is Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara ...
. The butterfly lays its eggs on coast buckwheat, which the adults also use as a
nectar Nectar is a sugar Sugar is the generic name for , soluble s, many of which are used in food. Simple sugars, also called s, include , , and . Compound sugars, also called s or double sugars, are molecules made of two monosaccharides jo ...

source. Recently, some nearby beach cities such as Redondo Beach have replaced
ice plant
ice plant
growth near the beaches with coast buckwheat, in order to provide the butterflies with more of their natural food source.


There are about 750,000 El Segundo Blues per year.

See also

Palos Verdes blue The Palos Verdes blue (''Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis'') is a small endangered butterfly native to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in southwest Los Angeles County, California, United States. As its distribution has been proven to be limited ...


Further reading

* Mattoni, Rudolf H. T., "The Endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly," ''The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera'', Volume 29 (4), Winter 1990
PDF 19.5 MB
(archive.org) Euphilotes Endemic fauna of California ESA endangered species Butterfly subspecies {{Polyommatini-stub