Polyommatus hispana

Provencal Chalk Hill Blue

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2012

Male from a colony located on a crystalline substrate.

Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2006.

Female.

Field notes and information

Local in Mediterranean regions of south Spain, north Italy and south France. It is extremely similar to the chalk hill blue, coridon, from which it may be indistinguishable when they fly together in the summer and autumn.

Identification & Similar species: Extremely similar to the chalk hill blue, L. coridon. The great variability between individuals of both species make differentiation extremely difficult in the summer when both species fly together. However, the current species is the only one to fly in spring which is when positive identifcation is possible. It is said to be greyer and duller, although this is at best subjective.

Distribution & Flight: S Pyrenees, east coast of Spain, south coast of France to Lyon and northwest Italy. Double brooded in April/ May and July/ September.

Habitat & Behaviour: Dry grassland on chalk or limestone. Occasionally also on non-calcarious soils. Larvae feed on horseshoe vetch (Hippocrepis comosa) and are attended by ants. Adults nectar frequently.

Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2004

Male underside

Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2012

Habitat shared with Melanargia occitanica, Pyronia cecilia, Satyrium spini.

Photo: hispana

Isère, France, May 2007

Photo: hispana

Isère, France, May 2007

Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2012

Female from crystalline substrate.

Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2006

Photo: hispana

Provence, France, June 2003

Completely different blue shown with different angles of light. Another reason why greyness of the blue is difficult use to separate this species from the chalk hill blue L. coridon.

Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2006

Photo: hispana

Rhône, France, May 2015

Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2004

Female underside

Photo: hispanaPhoto: hispanaPhoto: hispanaPhoto: hispana

Var, France, May 2012

Photo: hispanaPhoto: hispanaPhoto: hispana

Var, France, May 2012

From a colony located on a crystalline substrate.

Photo: hispana

Var, France, May 2012