|Copyright: Ingrid Ugussi (Skye)
|Date Taken: 2009-05-09|
|Exposure: f/6.7, 1/250 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2015-12-01 5:04|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|More pictures can be seen on my blog: http://gardensofnature.org/|
Species: Plebejus argus (Linnaeus, 1758)
English: Silver-studded Blue
Widespread and locally common across Europe, Asia and as far as Japan, however threatened due to habitat reduction in the UK.
In males the upperside is iridescent blue with a black border and a white fringe at the edges, females are brown, with orange spots at the edges. Undersides brown-grey with a row of orange and black spots at the margin. Silvery blue-green metallic spot, present on the ventral hind wings, are distinctive for this species.
It can easily be mistaken for the near identical Plebejus idas (Idas Blue), however the two species can be reliably distinguished only by looking the male fore-tibia, which presents a spine only in Plebejus argus.
Wide variety of food plants: Calluna, Erica, Lotus, Tymus, Ulex, Cytisus, Genista, Coronilla, Galega, Hippocrepis, Cistaceae, Helianthemum, Ericaceae, Colutea, Astragalus, Ononis etc.
Habitat: diverse, from very damp to very dry conditions. In Istria present on dry grasslands and garrigue.
Eggs are laid on young shoots or on the stems of one of the feeding plants, sometimes on the ground but always near the ant's nests. The larvae develops within the eggs and, if laid in late summer, it can overwinter and hatch in next spring, late March or early April, depending on the latitude. In Istria observed since early May.
• Interacts with ants in the larval stages: pupation often taking place in the ant´s nest where they are protected from enemies; in exchange they secrete the honeydew-like liquid which is delicious for ants (mutualism).
• It is always associated with Lasius ants and emerging adults are attractive to Lasius workers, a very unusual behaviour because they are normally attacked or ignored by them.
D. Jordano and C.D. Thomas. Specificity of an ant-lycaenid interaction. Oecologia (1992) 91 : 431-438
T. Tolman and R. Lewington. Collins Butterfly Guide. Collins. 2008
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