Leptotes pirithous

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Leptotes pirithous
Lycaenidae - Leptotes pirithous-003.JPG
Dorsal view
Lycaenidae - Leptotes pirithous-.JPG
Ventral view
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Genus: Leptotes
Species: L. pirithous
Binomial name
Leptotes pirithous
(Linnaeus, 1767)
  • Lampides telicanus (Lang, 1789)
  • Papilio pirithous Linnaeus, 1767
  • Papilio telicanus Lang, 1789
  • Syntarucus pirithous
  • Papilio plinius Fabricius, 1793
  • Cupido telicanus f. insulana Aurivillius, 1909

Leptotes pirithous is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae. Its common names are Lang's Short-tailed Blue and Common Zebra Blue


Leptotes pirithous is a small butterfly with a wingspan of 21–29 mm in males and 24–30 mm in females. The uppersides of the wings are purple bluish in males, bluish-brown in female. The undersides are dark beige striped with white lines. The hindwings show marginal orange and black spots and two small tails. For the design of the undersides of the wings they can be confused with Lampides boeticus and Cacyreus marshalli. These butterflies fly from February to November depending on the location. They are regular migrants.

The larvae feed on the flowers and fruits of Fabaceae, Rosaceae and Plumbaginaceae species, including Plumbago capensis, Indigofera, Rynchosia, Vigna, Burkea, Mundulea, Melilotus, Crataegus, Quercus suber, Medicago sativa, Trifolium alexandrium, Arachis hypogaea, Lythrum, Calluna, Genista, Dorycnium, Lythrum salicaria, Calluna vulgaris, Onobrychis viciifolia, Ulex and Melilotus alba. A life cycle takes about 4–8 weeks, depending on the temperature.


This species can be found in southern Europe (Spain, France and Italy), along the Mediterranean coast, in Asia Minor up to the Himalayas, and in most of Africa and Madagascar.


  • Leptotes pirithous pirithous (southern Europe, Caucasus, Transcaucasia, North Africa)
  • Leptotes pirithous capverti Libert, Baliteau & Baliteau, 2011 (Cape Verde)
  • Leptotes pirithous insulanus (Aurivillius, 1924) (Mozambique)


This species prefers varied wasteland, cultivated areas and gardens.

External links[edit]

Media related to Leptotes pirithous at Wikimedia Commons