Short-tailed Blue Everes argiades

Scientific Name: Everes argiades. Syn Cupido argiades (Lycaenidae Polyommatinae).

English Name: Short-tailed Blue (Gossamer-winged family, Blues sub-family).

French Name: L'Azuré du trèfle (='clover blued').

5 Key Characters:
  • orange crescents on the underside of the rear wings.
  • small (25 - 41 mm wingspan).
  • upper side of male dark blue bordered with black, female brownish black, sometimes suffused with blue at the base.
  • a tiny but obvious 'tail'.
  • a row of well marked grey spots around the edge of the underside of the wings.

Lookalikes: Provencal Short-tailed Blue Everes alcetas, which has fainter grey marginal spots on the underside, is a paler colour above, thinner black wing margins, barely any 'tail' and no orange crescents. The Provencal Short-tailed Blue is a much more common species in the south Touraine (to the point of being ubiquitous these days), but this is not the case in the Brenne.

Habitat: Damp warm grassland, marshes, heathlands dominated by heather, fields of clover.

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

Caterpillars: Host plant Clovers (Red Clover Trifolium pratense, White Clover T. repens).

Status: Localised and rarely abundant. In decline probably due to a decline in unimproved grassland and the cultivation of clover. This is a conspicuous and easy to see butterfly on certain sites in the Touraine Loire Valley and Brenne.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Male. Note orange crescents on underside of rear wing, near tiny but obvious 'tail'.

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