Informal reports from several locations suggest that the Mission Blue Butterfly is flying in the GGNRA right now. That means it’s the right time for Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year participants to score points in the year-long competition to see and save the park’s endangered species.
To give you an extra incentive, the Wild Equity Institute is offering a $25 Sports Basement gift certificate to the first person who logs a GGNP sighting of the Mission Blue on our website!
Mission Blue Butterfly, © Margo Bors.
The Mission Blue is a small, quarter-sized butterfly. Males are characterized by dark-bordered, silver blue to violet blue upper wings, while females have brown upper-wings with blue traces. The species flies from March until mid-June, but an adult Mission Blue Butterfly only lives for 6-10 days, so the time for observing any one individual is short. It uses one of three species of perennial lupines as a host plant: the silver lupine (Lupinus albifrons) the Lindley varied lupine (L. variicolor) and the summer lupine (L. formosus). Sometimes the butterfly makes it easy to spot: the species has the unique behavior of actually sitting on its lupine host for a while.
The Mission Blue Butterfly exists within the GGNP at Fort Baker in Marin County, and Milagra Ridge in San Mateo County. Remember, always stay on trail in the park, and always comply with our ethical principles when participating in the Big Year. To log your sighting, you must have a wildequity.org account, sign-up to participate in the GGNP Endangered Species Big Year, and enter your sighting information at the wildequity.org Mission Blue Butterfly species profile.