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Pea Blue / Long-tailed Blue. Lampides boeticus (Linaeus, 1767)

Diputación de Málaga
047 Canela estriada

Pea Blue / Long-tailed Blue. Lampides boeticus (Linaeus, 1767)

Safe appearance Probable appearance
Animal Life > Butterflies

Wingspan: From 2.2 to 3.4 cm.

Routes where it can be observed


Closed wings: Rows of light brown and white stripes consecutively stretch over the wings, and become wider as they get close to the outer margins. There is a tail on the hindwings which resembles an antenna. There are also two black spots with a sky blue rim, which simulate eyes.

Open wings:  Both wings are sky blue or violet, above all male butterflies, which have wide dark brown margins. Female butterflies are completely brown with blue or violet scales over the wings. Both female and male butterflies have dark spots around their false antenna.

Similar species

Geranium Bronze: This species is smaller. When its stretches the wings, which is not common, these are fully brown in the case of both sexes. When they are closed, their colour is grey or dark brown, and there are no wide stripes. False eyes can be rather small, and sometimes difficult to see.

Lang's Short-tailed Blue / Common Zebra Blue: This species does not stretches its cinnamon-coloured wings very often. Contrary to the above species, there are no spots around the false antennae in the case of male butterflies, though female butterflies do have them. When the wings are closed, they are grey with dark spots surrounded by thin stripes. There is a broken line, which is parallel to the outer margins of each wings, as well as false eyes, surrounded by a sky blue and orangey rings.

Biology and Habitat

Several generations of the Pea Blue fly at the same time throughout the year. There are probably three generations that mainly emerge in March, from May to July and in October and Novemer. They live in all kinds of habitats, including well-preserved forests, towns and cities, although they are more common in the sunny and open mountains. In urban areas they can be spotted in parks and gardens, where their caterpillars feed on ornamental foreign bushes, such as Polygala myrtifolia. As for the local plants, there are varied leguminous plants such as Ulex spp. and Bituminaria bituminosa, which are the most frequent.

Distribution in the Great Path

This species can be seen all along the GMP, although, on the coast and in the north of the province, it is rare and limited to specific places