Provencal Short-tailed Blue - Everes alcetas

Scientific Name: Everes alcetas.

English Name: Provencal Short-tailed Blue.

French Name: L'Azuré de la faucille.

5 Key Characters:
  • small (forewing 13 - 16 mm long).
  • male upper violet blue.
  • female upper blackish.
  • lands often, sitting with wings half open.
  • a black dot at the base of a tiny 'tail' on the hind wing.
Lookalikes: Short-tailed Blue E. argiades, which has orange crescents on the hind wings; Small Blue Cupido minimus, which does not have the black dot and tiny tail.

Habitat: Grassland and waste ground. Prefers ground that is neither very dry nor very wet.

Flight Period: March-April-May-June-July-August-September-October.

Caterpillar: Small and green, June - April, overwintering on the host plant.

Host Plant: Black Medic Medicago lupulina (Minette in French).

Status: First recorded in this area less than 10 years ago, but now locally common (eg it breeds in our orchard, but is uncommon in the Brenne). This is the northern limit of its current range, but it appears to be pushing northwards fairly rapidly, presumably in response to climate change.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Photographs numbered from left to right, top to bottom. 1 underside - note absence of orange, April, in our orchard. 2 - 4 female on the edge of a woodland ride near Preuilly-sur-Claise, April. 5 female, April, natural grassland on the edge of the Parc de Boussay. 6 as 2 - 4.

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