Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium ilicis)

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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.

20671_male?_Var_13Jun10 20707_female?_Var_13Jun10 16232_female_Var_18Jun09
34819_male_Var_20May14 35313_male_Var_7Jun14 2496_female_Var_8Jul06

Ilicis and its very close cousin the False Ilex Hairstreak (S. esculi) co-exist in my local sites and in June the Satyrium species emerge in large numbers, literally in thousands, and appear to be mostly esculi, which can be exceptionally abundant. They are quite sedentary and can be missed, even in large numbers, but once you've seen them, you start to notice that they're everywhere, with three or four individuals were sitting on almost every flower head.

They are strongly attracted to the yellow flowers of Helichrysum species, as are acaciae and spini, abundant in southern Var in June.

 

For the principal differences between ilicis and esculi, please see the esculi page.

 
ref sex

observations

alt. m
20671 M

an aberration which I am guessing is ilicis, but it could easily be esculi. The absence of markings would argue in favour of esculi but the rather pale orange-red of the lunules suggests ilicis to me. The relative shortness of the tails tends to suggest male. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has seen an individual like this.

140
20707 F

classic ilicis, possibly a female based on the length of the tails. 

140
16232 F

possibly a male, based on its territorial pose. The tails appear very marginally shorter, so maybe this is a pointer to male. However, on studying the magnified image, the end of the foreleg appears to be articulated and identical to the mid-leg and hind-leg and not hooked, which confirms that this is a female.

780
34819 M a male, judging by the length of tails (i.e. rather short). 20
35313 M a male, judging by the territorial pose, although the length of the tails suggest female. 220
2496 F

this poor individual had been seized by a crab spider (a frequent occurrence, I find), but it did have the effect of revealing the ups which would not otherwise be seen as these species always rest with closed wings. I believe that 2496 is a female (I'm guessing this based on the extent of the orange patch) of the form cerri which has extensive orange patches on the upf.

800

 

20671_male?_Var_13Jun10

 

20707_female?_Var_13Jun10

 

16232_female_Var_18Jun09

 

34819_male_Var_20May14

 

35313_male_Var_7Jun14

 

2496_female_Var_8Jul06