Adonis Blue butterfly
The Adonis blue is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. It is found in the Palearctic ecozone (Western Europe, Central Europe, South Europe, South Russia, Iraq, Iran, Caucasus, Transcaucasus, Turkey).
It may be found in chalk downland, in warm sheltered spots, flying low over vegetation, seeking females that are rich chocolate brown in color. The male has brilliantly-colored wings that give it its name.
Scientific classification Adonis Blue
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Clade: Euarthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Lycaenidae
- Genus: Polyommatus
- Species: P. bellargus
- Binomial name: Polyommatus bellargus
Adonis blue description
Males are bright sky blue in colour with a fine black line to the edge of the wings and a white border. Females are brown in colour becoming blue towards the body, with orange crescents towards the edges of the wings. Both males and females have pale brown undersides with black spots and orange crescents. The caterpillar reaches 1.6 centimetres in length, has a dark green body with dark spines, and yellow bands along the back and sides.
Adonis blue habitat
Inhabits warm south-facing slopes in chalk or limestone grassland characterised by short turf, where there is plenty of the larval foodplant horseshoe vetch (Hippocrepis comosa).
This species has undergone a major decline through its entire range but, despite its restricted distribution, on good sites it can be seen in many hundreds, as it has recently re-expanded in some regions.
Colonies vary in size considerably from year to year, depending on the weather. Many thousands can be seen emerging towards the end of a hot summer, constrasting with under a hundred from a spring emergence.
Size and Family
- Family: Blues
- Size: Small/Medium
- Wing Span Range (male to female): 38mm
Adonis Blue Conservation Status
- UK BAP: Not listed (formerly Priority)
- Butterfly Conservation priority: Medium
- European status: Not threatened
- Protected under Schedule 5 of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act
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