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Black-eyed Blue Butterfly - Glaucopsyche melanops

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Lycaenidae

Black-eyed Blue Butterfly, Glaucopsyche melanops, wings closed

The Black-eyed Blue is a butterfly of southern Europe and North Africa; however, over most of its range it is far from a common sight.

Black-eyed Blue Butterfly, Glaucopsyche melanops

Description

The underside forewing carries a row of large spots on a greyish background, while both forewings and hindwings have pale submarginal markings. Male have bright blue upperwings with wide dark margins, whereas females have much less blue colouring on their upperwings. The wingspan is 22 - 25mm.

Distribution

The Black-eyed Blue butterfly is found in southern France, Spain, Portugal and parts of North Africa.

Lifecycle

The larval foodplants of the Black-eyed Blue are various members of the botanical family Fabaceae (relatives of peas, vetches and clovers, therefore).

This is a univoltine species (having just one generation per year). They hibernate as pupae in late autumn and emerge early the following spring. This is an early species, usually on the wing during late February, March, April and early May. Most years this butterfly is rarely seen after the third week in May.

Reference Sources

Collins Butterfly Guide (2009) by Tom Tolman and Richard Lewington.

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