Glaucopsyche alexis

Green Underside Blue


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2012


Field notes and information

A widespread and sometimes common species in flowery meadows where sainfoin Onobrychis grows.

Identification & Similar species: The distinctive feature is the row of large oval spots on the underside forewing. This curves towards the anal angle, rather than keeping a more or less fixed distance from the margin. Upperside black borders broaden towards the forewing apex on the male. The underside is a pale silvery blue with small black spots and the basal area is extensively blue or greenish.

Distribution & Flight: Europe except UK, central and northern Scandinavia. Mountains of Algeria and northeast Tunisia. Usually in May and June but found from April and into early July.

Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy flowery places, often dry in the Mediterranean region. Often amongst scrub or woodland. Frequently visits flowers but also takes salts from mud, droppings and carrion. We found around 30 individuals (all males) on a dead horse in Greece - the smell was too repulsive to approach for photography.

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2022

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Digne les Bains, France, May 2022

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2022

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2017

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2018

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2005


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Kozani, Greece, May 2004

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

With Pseudophilotes baton baton blue.

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Alpes-Maritimes, France, May 2004

Unique line of black forewing spots clearly start discally near the costa and move outwards.

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Lesbos, Greece, April 2005

Heavy black marginal markings.

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Sicily, Italy, May 2018

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2017

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Kozani, Greece, May 2004

Two G. alexis on the right taking salts on dung. Keeping good company with three bavius blues P. bavius, a small blue C. minimus (bottom right behind the leaf!) and a speckled yellow Pseudopanthera macularia moth.

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2022

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Digne les Bains, France, May 2022