Leptotes pirithous

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Leptotes pirithous
Lycaenidae - Leptotes pirithous-003.JPG
Male, dorsal view, Italy
Lang's short tail blue (Leptotes pirithous) male underside.jpg
Male ventral view, Portugal
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Genus: Leptotes
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, the Lang's short-tailed blue or common zebra blue, is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae.


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 four to eight 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.


The following subspecies have been identified:[1]

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


This species prefers varied wasteland, cultivated areas and gardens.


  1. ^ Leptotes at Markku Savela's website on Lepidoptera