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Southern Blue. Polyommatus celina (Austaut, 1879)

Diputación de Málaga

Southern Blue. Polyommatus celina (Austaut, 1879)

Wingspan: From 2.2 to 3.6 cm.

Routes where it can be observed

Code

Open wings: Male butterflies are light grey with series of small dots on all wings. One of them is in the forewings discal area, and another breaks the arch and gets closer to the outer part on the hindwings. Female butterflies are similar, but their dots are larger and the background colour is light brown. Both sexes have a series of rounded orange spots with black bottom and dots over them on the outer margins. There are external hairs (fimbriae), which are not checked.

Open wings: It hardly ever stretches its wings. Male butterflies are bright blue, with thin dark margins and, occasionally visible, small black spots on the hindwings outer margins. Female butterflies are brown, with orange spots in the shape of a half moon on the outer margins of the wings.

Similar species

Mother-of-pearl Blue: It is creamy white with a dot in the discal area. There are pointed orange spots on the hindwings, and black front margins with or without a dot.

Chapman's Blue: They do not have a dot in the discal area. There are pointed orange spots on the hindwings, and black front margins with or without a dot.

Escher's Blue: There is no dot in the discal area. Dots are large, generally speaking. Black margins have wide pointed orange spots. There is a big black spot in the centre of the hindwings.

Spanish Chalk-hill Blue: Male and female butterflies have orange spots on the outer margins and a series of small dots on the hindwings, which does not exist on some butterflies. They have checked hairs (fimbriae).

Adonis Blue: These butterflies have checked hairs, large dots and a series of dots in the shape of a question mark on the hindwings.

Biology and Habitat

This species three generations fly throughout the year at the same time. They are more active from March to July. These butterflies can be found in all kinds of habitats, including mountains and well-preserved forests, as well as in rural and adapted areas, where they can be observed in parks, gardens and wide grass zones. Their caterpillars feed on all leguminous plants, from Trifolium, Medicago, Anthyllis and Lotus genus, among others.

Distribution in the Great Path

They are present on all stages of the GMP, except on the coast where they are more difficult to be found.