The longstanding nomenclature for the species Lycaena mariposa was examined and considered with respect to its ability to compass the observed variation and hypothetical evolutionary adaptation and radiation of this northwestern North American species. Through examination and comparison of long series of specimens from throughout the known range of the species, we discerned consistently recognizable clusters of characteristics across the landscape. We describe nine new subspecies, five of which occur in apparent genetic isolation, two as exceedingly narrow endemics. The other four have large ranges bridging existing named taxa. We discuss the hypothetical biogeographic history of the species, including routes of dispersion, conformity to geomorphologic features and glacial effects, and the basis for isolation and autochthony in L. mariposa, as well as host plants, habitats, and conservation status for each named taxon.
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