The Adonis blue (Polyommatus bellargus) is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae.It is found in the Palearctic ecozone Western Europe, Central Europe, South Europe, South Russia, Iraq, Iran, Caucasus, Transcaucasus, Turkey).
Note that information on this species applies to Great Britain and some details may not be consistent with the species in other parts of its range.
The preferred habitat of the Adonis blue is calcareous grasslands with hot and dry conditions.
Species decline (Great Britain)
The Adonis blue has been rapidly declining because its habitat (grasslands) has been disappearing or becoming coarse and shady through a lack of grazing. There are great efforts from conservation organisations and local Biodiversity Action Plans to encourage the populations of chalk-grassland butterflies through managed grazing programs. The recent hot and dry weather associated with climate change seems to be beneficial for this species by making more habitats suitable.
The male upper side is a brilliant sky blue. The female is chocolate brown with a few blue scales near the base, and with orange spots, bordered by blue scales, around the edge of the hind wing. Look for the chequered fringes in both sexes. The underside is brownish grey with black and orange spots. Winter is passed as a small caterpillar.
- Size: 17 mm wingspan
- Habitat: Flowery hillsides on chalk and limestone
- Food plant: Horseshoe vetch
- Flight: May–September, in two broods
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Polyommatus bellargus.|
- Adonis blue at Butterfly-Conservation.org
- BBC Article on reappearance of Adonis blue in Cotswolds, Gloucestershire
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