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Lorquin’s Blue. Cupido lorquinii (Herich-Schäffer, 1850)

Diputación de Málaga
052 Duende azul

Lorquin’s Blue. Cupido lorquinii (Herich-Schäffer, 1850)

Safe appearance Probable appearance
Animal Life > Butterflies

Wingspan: From 2.2 to 2.8 cm.


Closed wings: The background is light grey, and there is a  series of little widened dots which all form a right line, except the first one that is moved towards the inner part of the wings. There is another widened dot in the discal area. There are dots which compose an arch on the hindwings. The second dot is moved towards the inner part of the wings, and the last ones form another arch. The area between the dots and the margins is plain with the traces of some dark dots which are in no case easy to be spotted.

Open wings: It hardly ever opens the wings. Male butterflies are bright blue with wide black margins. The black colour partly stretches along the veins too. Female butterflies are dark browns, though they seem black

Similar species

Holly Blue: This butterfly species is larger. Its grey colour is lighter, almost whitish. The dots on the forewings are completely stretched and stepped. The second dot on the hindwings is closer to their inner part. All the dots are a bit smaller, irregular and most of them seem round.

Green-underside Blue, Glaucopsyche alexis (Poda, 1761): It is larger. There is a series of round dots on the forewings, which get bigger as they approach the outer margin. On the hindwings, there are often no dots or they are very small, forming a broken arch at the second dot, which is close to the inner part, while the last but one is close to the outer part of the wings.

Black-eyed Blue, Glaucopsyche melanops (Boisduval, 1828): It is larger. The forewings have a series of round dots, which increase in size towards the margin, which they turn away from in the end. On the hindwings, there is another series of dots. First two are rather close to the inner part. There are traces of whitish spots on the margins.

Biology and Habitat

Only one generation a year flies from March to June. April is when they are most seen.

The species  is typical for chalky and peridotite mountains, wide forests, extended thicket, and very often slopes and ditches along forest tracks, as well as ways and paths. This is where their foodplant from leguminous family, Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), can be found. It flies parallel to the ground, and neither male of female butterflies get far away from their foodplants.

Distribution in the Great Path

The species is usually rare and limited to specific places along the GMP. It can be seen in the chalky and peridotite mountains, such as the Tejeda and Almijara Mountains, the Arco Calizo Central, the Sierra Bermeja and the coastal mountain ranges. There also might exist some isolated colonies along the stages that go through the mountains in the north of the province.