Blue Argus (Ultraaricia anteros)

/ / Terrestrial Inverts

Description

Ultraaricia anteros is found within the family Laycaenidae. It was previously categorised within the genus Plebeius and can still occasionally be referred to as such.  Males have a bright blue colouring on the inner surface of their wings; however, this may vary depending on density.  The scales are shiny, yet this has also been noted to change.  The underside of the males wings are pale brown in colour with orange and black markings along the outer edge of the wings.  This pattern is similar in the females; however, the females do not have the blue colouring, instead they are dark brown with orange markings on both sides of their wings (1).

Life Cycle

The number of broods this butterfly has is altitude dependant.  It is thought that at high altitudes, more than two thousand meters, it has only one brood occurring sometime between late June and July.  At lower altitudes it may have two broods, possibly in May and then again in September (1).

Habitat

This species likes open grassy places, with plenty of wild flowers.  It can also be found in bushy/scrubby places, clearings and light woodlands, generally on limestone soils (1).

Distribution

Ultaaricia anteros can be found in the countries bordering the eastern Mediterranean, such as Greece, where it is widespread, and Turkey (1).  It can also be found further north in countries such as the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania as well as the Caucasus (2).

Conservation status

It is relatively widespread and common; it has been classified as ‘Least Concern’ on previous IUCN Red Lists (2).

References

Description written by Amy Trayler (2010)

(1)   Tolman. T., and Lewington. R. (1997) Butterflies, Britain and Europe, Collins Field Guide, Harper Collins Publishers, London

(2)   Kolev. Z. (2009) Plebeius anteros (Freyer, [1838]) [online] Available:
http://www.butterfliesofbulgaria.com/ariant.html [date accessed: 29/04/2010]