Lysandra bellargus

Family : Lycaenidae

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Text © D. Sc. Giuliano Russini – Biologiste Zoologiste

 

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English translation by Mario Beltramini

 

Lysandra bellargus male. The females are brown with blue dusting © Giuseppe Mazza

Lysandra bellargus male. The females are brown with blue dusting © Giuseppe Mazza

The splendid Adonis Blue or Bellargus (Lysandra bellargus Rottemburg, 1775) by some authors indicated as Polyommatus (Meleageria) bellargus, is a butterfly afferent to the Rhopalocers (Rhopalocera), to the phylum of the Arthropods (Arthropoda), subtype Antennates (Antennata), class Insects (Insecta), subclass Neopterans (Neoptera), cohort Pterygotes (Pterygota), superorder Endopterygotes (Endopterygota = Olometaboli), order Lepidopters (Lepidoptera), suborder Heteroneurans (Heteroneura), family Lycaenids (Lycaenidae), the second largest family of butterflies, with approximately 6.000 species.

The common name of Adonis comes from a divinity connected with the revival and with the vegetation, present in the mystery religions of the ancient Egypt (Osiris), as well as in the Semitic cult (Tammuz or Baal Hadad), in the Etruscan (Atunis) and Greek.

Zoogeography

Specie Paleartica, ampiamente diffusa in tutta Europa, Turchia ed Iran.

Ecology-Habitat

It is mostly present in the vast and open plains, with a preference for the dry and stony locations.

Morpho-physiology

The males have a beautiful bright blue colour, whilst the females are dark brown, with a dusting of light blue scales and with marginal orange, black and blue spots on the hind wings.

Lysandra bellargus mating. The wings lower side is similar in both sexes © Giuseppe Mazza

Lysandra bellargus mating. The wings lower side is similar in both sexes © Giuseppe Mazza

In the male, there are some white and black wing fringes at the lower border of the hind wings.

These are all characters of dimorphism. The lower side in the two sexes is of pale brown colour with black spots and orange patterns.

The wingspan is of 3-4 cm.

Ethology-Reproductive Biology

The adults have a diurnal flight. The green and yellow caterpillar develops on the Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa) and on the Crown Vetch Coronilla varia plants afferent to the family of the Fabaceae.

Synonyms

Papilio bellargus Linnaeus, 1758; Polyommatus bellargus Rottemburg, 1775.

 

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