Insects of Britain and Ireland: butterflies

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Adults. Wingspan 28–33 mm; the fringes not banded. Medium-bodied. The eyes white-rimmed; notched or emarginate at the bases of the antennae and contiguous with the bases of the antennal sockets. Antennae reaching noticeably less than halfway to the wingtips. Labial palps ascending.

Forewings. Forewings apically rather pointed. The outer margins convexly curved. Uppersides of the forewings satiny violet- blue (male), or dark brown, or fuscous (female); without a discal mark; in the male satiny blue-violet with a narrow black border; in the female brown and often shot with blue.

Hindwings. Hindwings broadly rounded; with the outer margins not scalloped. Uppersides of the hindwings blue (in males), or dark brown, or fuscous (in females); plain; without a discal mark; coloured like the forewings.

Undersides of wings. Undersides of the wings multiply patterned with pale-ringed black spots.

Undersides of the forewings grey with a row of 5 black, white-ringed subterminal dots and a black, white-encircled discal mark.

Undersides of the hindwings grey beyond the disc but conspicuously green basally, with or without a row of black dots subterminally; with neither orange spots nor an orange band; not bright green; with a conspicuous discal mark, or without a discal mark; without orange markings.

Wing venation. Forewings with a discal cell.

Eggs, larvae, pupae. The larvae woodlouse-shaped. On various legumes.

British representation. 1 species. Glaucopsyche alexis (Green-underside Blue). The adults abroad July to September (?).

Status in Britain. Rare ocurrence representing occasional, genuine immigrants, or adventive (?). A possible vagrant recorded from Torquay in September 1936!.

Distribution. Southwest England.

Classification. Superfamily Papilionoidea. Lycaenidae.

Illustrations. • Everes argiades, Glaucopsyche alexis (Bloxworth or Short-tailed Blue, Green-underside Blue: Kirby, 1907). • Larvae and pupa of Glaucopsyche alexis: Duponchel (1849).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2008 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: butterflies. Version: 16th May 2016.’.