Turquoise Blue (Polyommatus dorylas)

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.

17915_male_Isère_11Jul09 26131_male_Alpes-Maritimes_02Jul11 32507_male_Alpes-Maritimes_2Jun13
39167_male_Hautes-Pyrénées_24Jul15 7159_female_Var_18Jun07 26126_male_Alpes-Maritimes_02Jul11
12572_male_Isère_10Jul08 16431_male_Var_22Jun09 17995_male_Isère_11Jul09
2857_female_Var_21Jul06 7152_female_Var_18Jun07 37797_pair_Var_19Jun15

An exquisite butterfly, rarely encountered (by me) in more than ones and twos, although not uncommon at medium altitudes. Apart from the distinctive and dazzling male upperside colour, the male dorylas can be differentiated from many similar-sized blues by the black borders which extend inward along the veins. The underside is also quite variable and distinctive because of the large black spots on the unf combined with the very faint, often white, unf marginal marks with pale orange (more or less) heart-shaped unh submarginal marks.

It seems to occur mostly at altitudes above 750m, even as high as 2000m. It can easily be missed because it is superficially similar to the Common Blue (P. icarus).

 

This species is referred to as Plebicula dorylas in T&L, but is now classified as a member of the Polyommatus genus.

 
ref sex

observations

alt. m
17915 M

a male, showing the gleaming turquoise-blue and the black margins extending into the veins.

1120
26131 M a male, this shot probably captures the pale gleaming blue of dorylas better than 17915. 1400
32507 M a male, the blue colour being a little deeper than usual. 1080
39167 M a male from the Hautes-Pyrénées, the turquoise colour being very clear. It was a little larger than those I usually see in south-eastern France. 1600
7159 F

a female, the upperside of 7152. Typical dorylas, 7159 is very fresh with a nice strong clean brown ground colour, setting off the orange lunules.

780
26126 M classic dorylas, a rather clean, constant pale grey ground colour and unf margins almost pure white. 1400
12572 M

a male taking salts (puddling), the characteristic marginal white band on both wings is a sure indicator of dorylas. It took the sharp eyes of Tim Cowles to spot that 12572 has a unf cell spot, small and just visible, just to demonstrate that statements in books that dorylas does not have a cell spot are not true 100% of the time, although this is a rarity.

1120
16431 M

dorylas often has a smudgy unclean feel to it, especially the unf, as illustrated here. The orange lunules are usually more distinct and heart-shaped than 16431 or 12572.

920
17995 M

a fairly typical male underside, with quite pale orange lunules not quite heart-shaped.

1120
2857 F

a delicately marked female, with a warm uns pale grey-brown ground colour. The unf post-discal spots (just visible) are unusually very large, almost touching the lunules in s3-5. The orange submarginal lunules are quite distinctly heart-shaped, even to the forewing costa.

2050
7152 F

a dark female (c.f. 2857) with the commonly-found smudgy feel to the unf margins. The unf post-discal series of black spots, usually large in dorylas, seem exceptionally large here, with slight aberrations of additional spots. The heart-shape of the unh orange lunules is more apparent here, especially in s2.

780
39979 PAIR a mating pair, the female on the left. The male is in quite good condition compared to many males seen in copula. 920

 

17915_male_Isère_11Jul09

 

26131_male_Alpes-Maritimes_02Jul11

 

32507_male_Alpes-Maritimes_2Jun13

 

39167_male_Hautes-Pyrénées_24Jul15

 

7159_female_Var_18Jun07

 

26126_male_Alpes-Maritimes_02Jul11

 

12572_male_Isère_10Jul08

 

16431_male_Var_22Jun09

 

17995_male_Isère_11Jul09

 

2857_female_Var_21Jul06

 

7152_female_Var_18Jun07

 

37797_pair_Var_19Jun15