Satyrium ilicis

Posted by Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 28 July 2011 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Satyrium ilicis (NL: Bruine eikenpage / EN: Ilex Hairstreak / DE: Braune Eichen-Zipfelfalter) is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae. The species occurs in scattered colonise across most of central & southern Europe, and east to Israel, Lebanon and the western Ural mountains. It is found in the vicinity of oak trees, but is not limited to woodland. Often locally common on scrubby heaths, and in dry stony meadows and fields in woodland / grassland mosaics at altitudes between sea level and at least 1600m. The butterfly is single-brooded, emerging from late May to early August depending on altitude and local climatic conditions. The eggs are laid singly or in pairs, on or near the buds of oaks, favouring Quercus coccifera but also using Q. ilex and Q. robur. They hibernate until the following March or April. The plump green caterpillars feed on tender young oak leaves. They are attended by at least 2 species of ant - Camponotus aethiops and Crematogastor schmidtii, which "milk" them to sequester sugary fluids excreted from a gland on the caterpillar's back. In return the ants provide them with protection from parasitoids and predatory insects. The adults are usually seen singly, when attracted to flowers including thyme, stonecrop, elder and bramble. In this image the butterfly is feeding on Valeriana officinalis

Image: Thillot (FR) - 03/06/2011

© Johan Dierckx

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Anca from Galati, Romania

Great macro!

29 Jul 2011 7:22pm

Canon EOS 400D
1/1000 second
ISO 200
150 mm