Adonis blue

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Adonis blue
Lycaenidae - Polyommatus bellargus - male.JPG
male, underside
Lycaenidae - Polyommatus bellargus - female.JPG
female, underside
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Tribe: Polyommatini
Genus: Polyommatus
Species: P. bellargus
Binomial name
Pollyommatus bellargus
(Rottemburg, 1775)

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).

Male, upperside
Female, upperside
Mating pair showing underside
Mating pair showing upperside

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)[edit]

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

See also[edit]

External links[edit]