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Panoptes Blue. Scolitantides panoptes (Hübner, 1813)

Diputación de Málaga
054 Tomillera

Panoptes Blue. Scolitantides panoptes (Hübner, 1813)

Safe appearance Probable appearance
Animal Life > Butterflies

Wingspan: From 1.8 to 2.4 cm.


Closed wings: They have grey background, with a series of dots which form an arch on the forewings. Above them, another series of spots make a wider arch. A long spot in discal area has a dot underneath. There is a series of dots in the shape of an angle on the hindwings. The penultimate dot is closer to the outer part of the wing, and completes a question mark. Triangular spots that can be plain or covered in orange, are placed above the last series of dots. There are checked hairs (fimbriae) over the wide black background on the outer margin of the wings.

Open wings: This species hardly ever can be seen with stretched wings. Both sexes are dark brown with many blue scales, which are more scattered around and more numerous and spread out in the case of male butterflies. The spot in the discal area has no white colour around it. The fimbriae are also exterior.

Similar species

Dark Grass Blue / African Grass Blue: There are no black spots that stand out on the wings between the series of dots and the outer margin. The spots are vague and difficult to be seen. There is no dot which completes a question mark and it is separated from the rest of dots on the hindwings.

False Baton Blue: It has a series of flat spots between the outer margin and the main series of dots on the forewings and on the hindwings. The fimbriae on the forewings are rather narrow at the bottom, so they have the shape of a T. When it stretches the wings a spot outlined in white can be seen in discal area.

Biology and Habitat

The species flies from March to July. The butterflies which live in the north of the province fly in March and April, and those which are close to the sea and higher zones fly from May to July. Generally speaking, they live between an altitude of 400 and 1400 m.

They can be found in open forests and spread thicket in mountains, as well as in steep zones in the northern part of the province, where they settle down at the foot of the chalky mountains. They always live close to the places with a lot of their caterpillars’ food plants, such as the marjoram (Thymus mastichina). It have also been seen on Thymbra capitata and the Spanish Lemon Thyme (Thymus baeticus), but all the populations that can be found in Málaga live on the marjoram, as no butterflies have been observed on thymes.

Distribution in the Great Path

They follow the majoram plant, so they can be found along stages that go through chalky mountains and stretch at the foot of the mountains in the north of the province. All populations are limited to specific places. There might be some butterflies' shelters along other stages as well, above all on the stages in the northern part where it has not been spotted.