Common Blue - "Étude no.1"
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Polyommatus icarus from Fleeting Memories From Summer -06. The specimen here is a male recharging his batteries from the nectar of Senecio viscosus "Sticky Groundsel".|
The Common Blue is also the most common of Blues in Sweden and it can be seen in dry meadows and fields across the country. The easiest way to identify it is from the 1-3 black dots and white-edge between the base and discal spot on the underside of the forewings. One other characteristic is the white wedge-like shape cutting into the round black dots. The uppersides of the wings of males are iridescent with lilac to blue nuances with a thin black margin and completely white fringes. In the male the undersides are ashen grey and the lunulae light yellowish-red and in the root there are always glimmering bluish-green scales. Both sexes have a row of reddish spots along the edge of the hindwings (extending onto the forewings though generally fainter, particularly in the males where they are sometimes missing altogether). The uppersides of the female are brownish with varying amounts of blue closer to the body while the undersides are light greyish-brown.
Host plants are Fabaceae like Medicago spp. (e.g. "Black Medick"), Lotus corniculatus ("Birds-foot-trefoil"), Trifolium spp. (e.g. "White Clover"), Ononis spp. (e.g. "Common Restharrow").
World distribution from Canary Islands and North Africa through Europe > Ural-Kazakstan-Altai > Tian Shan in Central Asia. The population is slightly declining in Sweden, but stable in Europe, and it flies with 2 generations from late May until the beginning of September, and - though rarely - with a 3rd generation in southern Sweden.
Subfamily: Lycaeninae / Polyommatinae
Genus: Polyommatus, meaning "richly provided with eyes" from Gr. adv. polý πολύ "much/richly" and ommatós ὂμματός "given/provided with eyes", perf.part. of ommatô ὀμματῶ "give eyes to/provide with eyes" from ómma ὂμμα "eye/look". This word refers to the many dots/eyes on the undersides of the hind wings. Originally it was a designation for all Blues.
Species: icarus, the famous mythological figure, Icarus, with the wax wings who flew too close to the sun which caused the wings to melt so that he drowned.
For names in most European vernaculars, distribution maps, etc., the interested student is recommended to visit European Butterflies.
1: Nationalnyckeln till Sveriges flora och fauna: Fjärilar - Dagfjärilar. Hesperiidae - Nymphalidae (2005),
2: Bo Söderström: Svenska fjärilar. En fälthandbok (2006).
vhemmati, coasties, Tamrock, fartash, phlr has marked this note useful
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Wow, this is just beautiful. Awesome composition and colors. The butterfly and the flower really stands out against the perfectly blurred BG.
Lovely shade of blue. Very well composed. Nice work. TFS.
- [2007-03-08 3:52]
Beautiful capture of this Common Blue - it has a lovely silvery shine here and details are sharp. The soft green background sets it off very nicely. Excellent composition too.
Would be nice to see some Exif details about your photos!
TFS and regards, Ulla
- [2007-03-08 3:59]
waoo, your a specialist of Butterflies for my pleasure. Very nice colors and Def. Good composition.
have a nice day.
Excellent shot of this Common Blue,
Great sharpness and colors,
A good image...
Composition is well done.