Plebejus idas (NL: Vals heideblauwtje / EN: Idas Blue; Northern Blue / DE: Idas-Bläuling; Ginster-Bläuling / FR: Azuré du genêt; Moyen argus) is a butterfly of the Lycaenidae family. Plebejus idas can sometimes be hard to differentiate from the Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus), not to mention possible confusion with Reverdin's Blue (P. argyrognomon) where the latter occurs. P.idas is a very variable species. The male upper-side is a strong bright blue with a narrower black border than P.argus and wide white fringes. The female (see image on 14/08/2010) upper-side is brown with varying amounts of blue, with marginal lunules more prominent than P.argus. There are sometimes no silver centres to the marginal spots, or at least, that's how it appears - the silver is often a question of the viewing angle. Also the orange on the underside fore-wing lunules does not extend to the apex as it does on P.argyrognomon. The foreleg in P.idas lacks a spine which is present in P.argus but to see this, you surely need a good magnifying glass.
Image: Maloja (CH) - 18/07/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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