Furry Blue (Polyommatus dolus)

next page           back to list

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

33670_male_Var_11Jul13 33702_female_Var_12Jul13 33715_male_Var_12Jul13
33775_male_Var_12Jul13 33733_female_Var_12Jul13 33755_female_Var_12Jul13

A quite uncommon blue (in Var) that I have only encountered in three locations. Books sometimes show dolus with a clear unh white streak (male only) which is well-defined and rather similar to the streak of the Damon Blue (P. damon), but this can be vestigial or absent in southern France and this has certainly been true for the specimens I have seen in Var. I suspect that the clear white streak occurs only in the subspecies vittatus which is found only in the Cevennes, which would explain why these specimens from Var show a rather suffused white streak.

 

When I first saw dolus, it looked like the Provence Chalkhill blue (P. hispanus) at first sight (it was too early for coridon to have emerged), especially as it was in an area where both hispanus and coridon were common, but didnít look quite as silvery. I saw several males and females, all restricted to one very small area.

I revisited this site again in July 2003, but saw not even one specimen, although 2003 was exceptionally hot and it did seem to have been a very bad year for blues generally. In July 2004 I met up with Tim Cowles and Guy Padfield at the same site and dolus finally put in an appearance after an hour or so, and I suggest you visit their excellent sites (links page) for photographs of these dolus from 2004.

 

I saw a single male and female at another site nearby in 2006, suggesting that its range is wider. Since then I have only seen dolus at one other location in western Var where I saw one male in early July 2011 and another in 2012. However, I visited this site in mid-July in 2013, this being at the peak of the flight period, and was pleased to see a dozen or so individuals.

 

Quite why it was called Furry, I have no idea. However, it has been kindly pointed out to me by Peter Groenendijk (www.anythingbutcommon.nl) that the basal region of the male upperside forewing is indeed rather furry. I see the upperside rarely so had not noticed this.

 

This species was previously known as Agrodiaetus dolus.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
33670 M a male upperside, showing the very pale silvery-blue, almost white colour of the upperside. 450
33702 F a female, a dull brown with virtually no markings. 680
33715 M a male underside, with the wings slightly offset to show a glimpse of the pale upperside. This appears to be rather browner than the norm. 680
33775 M a male underside, typically pale, from my limited experience. The white streak is very faint. 680
33733 F a female underside, the offset wings showing a very deep brown upperside colour. The white streak is vestigial and almost non-existent. 680
33755 F another female underside, but the white streak is rather more distinct. 680

 

33670_male_Var_11Jul13

 

33702_female_Var_12Jul13

 

33715_male_Var_12Jul13

 

33775_male_Var_12Jul13

 

33733_female_Var_12Jul13

 

33755_female_Var_12Jul13