Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium ilicis)
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2023 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
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 sitting on almost every flower head.
For the principal differences between ilicis and esculi, please see the esculi page.
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.
|a male, judging by the length of tails (i.e. rather short).
|a male, judging by the territorial pose, although the length of the tails suggest female.
|a very fresh female, a good "type" specimen.
classic ilicis, possibly a female based on the length of the tails.
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.
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.