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Southern Brown Argus. Aricia cramera (Eschscholtz, 1821)

Diputación de Málaga

Southern Brown Argus. Aricia cramera (Eschscholtz, 1821)

Wingspan: From 2.2 to 3 cm.

Routes where it can be observed


Closed wings: They are brown with plenty of dots. These are perfectly aligned and form and arch on the forewing. The second dot on the hindwing is opposite the first one, while the rest of them, except one which on the inside, are aligned. There are orange spots on both wings outer margins. On the hindwing, they are sharp and black at the top. There are clearly marked black dots behind these spots.

Open wings: Their background is brown, and there is a series of orange spots in a shape of a half moon.

Similar species

Spanish Argus: This species has a smaller dot on the forewing, which cannot be seen in the case of the Southern Brown Argus. The second dot goes towards the inside and it is not aligned with the rest of the dots. The orange dots are smaller, and the dots behind them less clear. The hindwing is rounded and can miss some of the above dots.

Mountain Argus: These butterflies are larger, lighter brown and their orange dots are smaller.

Biology and Habitat

They fly throughout the year, though they are more common and increase in number from May to July. There are several generations.

The species is present in all kinds of habitats, from woodlands and bushes in high mountains, to uncultivated land and rural areas. Its caterpillars feed on different Geraniaceae, such as Erodium cicutariumand, Erodium malacoides, as well as on the Cistaceae family plants from Helianthemum genus and Tuberaria guttata.

Distribution in the Great Path

This species is rather common in Málaga, where it can be found on all stages of the path, although it is rarer and limited to specific places in the north of the province, where it lives close to olive groves, and along the stages that go through towns on the coast, above all on the 1st stage.