Scientific Name: Glaucopsyche alexis (Lycaenidae Polyommatinae).
English Name: Green-underside Blue (Gossamer-winged butterfly family, Blues sub-family).
French Name: L'Azuré des cytises (='broom blue').
5 Key Characters:
- extensive patch of turquoise blue on the base of the underside of the hind wings.
- medium sized (wingspan 29 - 41 mm), large for a blue.
- upper side of the male blue, bordered with black; female brown, sometimes with a blue wash on the base of the wings.
- large black dots on the underside of the forewings but only a few small black spots on the underside of the rear wings.
Lookalikes: None in this area.
Habitat: Flower rich grassland on poor soil, dry grassland, woodland edges.
Flight Period: March-April-May-June-July.
Caterpillar and Host Plant: Pea family (Wild Liquorice Astragalus glycyphyllos, Prostrate Canary Clover Dorycnium pentaphyllum, Ribbed Melilot Melilotus officinalis, Alfalfa Medicago sativa, Black Medick M. lupulina, Spanish Broom Spartium junceum).
Status: Localised but can be abundant.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: