Scarce Large Blue (Phengaris teleius)

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2016 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

12909_male_Ain_14Jul08

12913_male_Ain_14Jul08

41720_male?_Isère_19Jul16

This is a beautifully marked butterfly. The male upperside is bright blue with the typical Phengaris black forewing splash marks. The underside is typical Phengaris, but with a very clean ground colour and neat black marks. It  is nearly always found perched on its larval hostplant Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis), or very close by. I've only ever seen singles at three sites, in fields of S. officinalis, which is a plant of marshy terrain, so it is quite difficult to get close enough to photograph and I was very fortunate that 12909 came close enough to the boardwalk through the marsh that I could get a half-decent photograph of this beautifully fresh specimen.

The location I visited in 2016 had only sparse S. officinalis in a marshy field, although I was informed by a local expert that even at low densities this plant can support small colonies.

 

In the Lafranchis ID book, it says that the teleius post-discal forewing spot in s2 (the lowest large spot just visible on the unf), is equidistant from the discal spot and the submarginal spot; this is certainly true for 12909.

 

This species was previously known as Maculinea teleius.

 
ref sex

observations

alt. m
12909 M

a male, I'm reasonably confident, because I saw it in flight and it looked a very bright blue.

235
12913 M

the same butterfly as 12909. Worth two shots!

235
41720 M? only the second teleius I have seen and I believe it is a male from the end of the abdomen, despite the rather pronounced body width. It is, as is usual for this species (despite 12909 above), sitting on the head of a Burnet. 340

 

12909_male_Ain_14Jul08

 

12913_male_Ain_14Jul08

 

41720_male?_Isère_19Jul16