Silvery Argus (Aricia nicias)
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2021 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
An exquisite little butterfly of the mountains. The upperside colour is often shown as a pale dullish silvery blue with narrow darker borders in most books, but I have generally found it to be rather bluer and with very broad almost-black borders. Before 2006 I had only seen it once at the Col de Vars, and had assumed it to be a rarity, although in subsequent years I have seen in many Alpine locations, mostly in singles. It tends to be rather sedentary and is perhaps easy to overlook, especially among puddling blues.
The female is plain brown and like many mountain blue females, quite reclusive, and I had only seen one before 2016, in 2010. The underside is very pale and delicate, with a characteristic white stripe and often almost yellow around the unh lunules, and quite variable in terms of the strength of the markings.
This species was previously known as Pseudoaricia nicias.
a male, puddling. I have only seen it nectaring on one occasion, other than when it is puddling.
a male, a typical male upperside, almost identical to 17517.
|36157||M||a male, rather bluer than the norm and perhaps with slightly narrower black borders. 36180 is the underside.||2020|
|44820||M||another male, fairly standard nicias, but offering an open-wing shot.||2020|
a female upperside, identifiable with confidence as it was the underside of 22060.
|36180||M||a male, the underside of 36157. A relatively dull and unmarked underside.||2020|
a male, quite a strong grey ground colour. The marginal markings are almost non-existent.
a male, quite brownish in ground colour, with very vestigial markings generally. An interesting pose, resting on this low grass shoot rather than on the ground.
a male, also very pale. This seemed to be a characteristic of this relatively (for nicias) low-altitude location.
a male underside, showing the delicate colouring and markings. Quite typical for nicias, the other undersides on this page being the less so.
|41765||M||this specimen has almost a two-tone hindwing and very colourful marginal markings.||1930|
|41445||PAIR||a rare sight of a female, in an even rarer sight of a mating pair, contrasting the male below with the browner ground colour of the female above.||1960|
a female, quite a strong brown showing up the white stripe clearly, and with quite small spots.