El Segundo blue
|El Segundo blue|
E. b. allyni
|Euphilotes battoides allyni|
O. Shields, 1975
The El Segundo blue (Euphilotes battoides allyni) is a rare subspecies of the square-spotted blue butterfly. It is endemic to a small dune ecosystem in Southern California that used to be a community called Palisades del Rey, close to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In 1976 it became a federally designated endangered species. 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. 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 El Segundo oil refinery complex, and the smallest colony is an area of only a few square yards on a local beach. The butterfly lays its eggs on coast buckwheat, which the adults also use as a nectar source. Recently, some nearby beach cities such as Redondo Beach have replaced ice plant growth near the beaches with coast buckwheat, in order to provide the butterflies with more of their natural food source.
- "Rare Butterflies at LAX". Airport Parking Market. Airport Parking Market. 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
- Traci Watson:Rare Butterflies Flying High at Los Angeles Airport, National Geographic, 21 April 2016
- Dupuis, Julian (2020). "Genomics Confirms Surprising Ecological Divergence and Isolation in an Endangered Butterfly". Biodiversity and Conservation. 29 (6): 1897–1921. doi:10.1007/s10531-020-01950-6. S2CID 211127725. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
- "What We Do". Chevron. Chevron. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
- El Segundo Blue Butterfly Counts. LAX Natural Resources Management, retrieved 10 August 2017
- 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)
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