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Polyommatus icarus

Polyommatus icarus
Photo Information
Copyright: Luciano Gollini (lousat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-05
Categories: Insects
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/100 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Ticino Park Wildlife [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-10-05 11:34
Viewed: 4075
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) is a small butterfly in the family Lycaenidae
-Appearance, behaviour and distribution
Male uppersides are an iridescent lilac blue with a thin black border. Females are brown with a row of red spots along the edges. They usually have some blue at the base of the wings and, especially in Ireland and Scotland, are mostly blue but always have the red spots. Undersides have a greyish ground colour in the males and more brownish in the females. Both sexes have a row of red spots along the edge of the hindwings (extending onto the forewings though generally fainter, particularly in the males where they are sometimes missing altogether). There are about a dozen black centered white spots on the hind wings, nine on the forwings. The white fringe on the outer edge of the wings is not crossed with black lines as it is in the Chalkhill and Adonis Blues, an important difference when separating these species, particularly the females.

It is Britain's (and probably Europe's) most common and most widespread blue, found as far north as Orkney and on most of the Outer Hebrides. Males are often very obvious as they defend territories against rivals and search out the more reclusive females. A range of grassland habitats are used: meadows, coastal dunes, woodland clearings and also many man made habitats, anywhere where their food plants are found.

It is widespread in Europe, North Africa and temperate Asia.

-Lifecycle and food plants
The main food plant on most sites is Bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). Others used include Black Medick Medicago lupulina, Common Restharrow Ononis repens, White Clover Trifolium repens and Lesser Trefoil Trifolium dubium. Eggs are laid singly on young shoots of their food plants.

The caterpillar is small, pale green with yellow stripes and as usual with lycid larvae rather slug-like. Hibernation occurs as a half grown larvae. They are attractive to ants but not as much as some other species of blues. The chrysalis is olive green/brown and formed on the ground where it is attended by ants which will often take it into their nests. The larvae creates a substance called honey dew, which the ants eat while the butterfly lives in the ant hill. In the south of Britain there are two broods a year flying in May and June and again in August and September. Northern England has one brood flying between June and September. In a long warm year there is sometimes a partial third brood in the south flying into October.

Silke, peter_stoeckl, nirmalroberts, fartash, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Silvio2006: grazielousat 1 10-05 12:01
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Luciano, complimenti per tutta la tua galleria, è la prima volta che la vedo, bella farfalla, anche questa e la prima volta che la vedo, grazie e soprattutto splendida composizione, molto ben equilibrata, magnifica messa a fuoco e bellissimi i colori, bravo, ciao Silvio

Bonito trabajo Luciano, aunque me gusta más la planta que la mariposa.

Un abrazo: J. Ignasi

magnifique cet argus, j'en ai publié plusieurs du meme style
les couleurs sont parfaites et jolies, bien vu
merci du partage

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-10-06 14:59]

This is so delicate! Wonderful details and a superb composition with your subject nicely places on the thirds

Hi Luciano,
what a spiny place that little blue has chosen for a rest! I love the precise foscussing and very clear details, the transparent wings in the backlight, and the selected point of view for this position. Thank you!
With best regards,

Hi Luciano,
Beautiful butterfly. Perfect composition, details and colours.
Thanks a lot for sharing.
- Nirmal

Hello Luciano
Very intersting spieces to shoot,
Perfect focusing,lighting and BG,Welldone.


  • Great 
  • degani Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 130 W: 0 N: 322] (2607)
  • [2007-11-22 22:24]

Buongiorno Luciano,
quante magnifiche farfalle girano dalle nostre parti. Non me ne ero mai accorto. Questa foto è particolarmente bella per il soggetto, che è bello di per se, ma soprattutto perché hai saputo cogliere la luce corretta e la messa a fuoco impeccabile. Bravo.

Hello Luciano

Beautiful macro of this butterfly, with fine POV, in a
beautiful light, excellent focus, sharpness, and details, TFS


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