Polyommatus icarus (NL: Icarusblauwtje / EN: Common Blue / DE: Hauhechel-Bläuling / FR: Argus bleu) is a small butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. It is the most common member of this family throughout Europe. In Belgium the adults fly in two generations a year: from early May till the beginning of July, and from early July till mid September. In favourable years a third generation occurs from the beginning of September till early October. Male uppersides are an iridescent lilac blue with a thin black border. Females are brown with a row of red spots along the edges. They usually have some blue at the base of the wings . The larva lives on several species of Fabaceae and the chrysalis is attended by different species of ants (as most Lycaenidae-species). Both sexes roost overnight on grass heads, facing head-downwards, often in groups of up to 5 individuals. Roosting at the top of the grasses is probably an effective survival strategy, keeping them out of reach of mice and other nocturnal predators.
Image: Merksplas (BE) – 03/08/2012
© Johan Dierckx
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