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Provence Hairstreak / Cardenillo. Tomares ballus (Fabricius, 1787)

Diputación de Málaga
042 Cardenillo

Provence Hairstreak / Cardenillo. Tomares ballus (Fabricius, 1787)

Safe appearance Probable appearance
Animal Life > Butterflies

Wingspan: From 2.4 to 3 cm.

Routes where it can be observed


Closed wings: The forewings are more or less striking orange colour with a series of, occasionally vague, black dots outlined in sky blue. Their margins are wide and brown. The hindwings are rather hairy with the brown outer margin, which is wider at its upper part. The orange colour might fade and turn into brown in the case of some old butterflies.

Open wings: This species hardly ever stretches its wings. Both, female and male butterflies, are brown with wide orange spots in the case of the latter ones.

Similar species

This species can only be confused with others when its wings are closed, and it has lost some of its green colour. This is when it becomes similar to the Small or Common Copper, though the latter one has just one series of dots on the forewings and has no sky blue spots around them.

Biology and Habitat

They take one generation a year to fly, mainly, in winter and summer, above all, in March.

These butterflies usually live in adapted areas with scarce plant life. They prefer plains, such as uncultivated and wasteland, river terraces, abandoned almond and olive groves with little ground vegetation. At these places, caterpillars feed on leguminous plants, above all creeping and low ones, such as alfalfas (Medicago spp.) and clovers (Trifolium spp.)

Distribution in the Great Path

There are plenty of these butterflies along the GMP. They are especially spread along the less rugged areas, and rare at the coast or in the north of the province where they can be found at limited number of places. They might also be found at the stages where they have not been spotted before.