Satyrium ilicis

Ilex Hairstreak

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: ilicis

Valais, Switzerland, June 2011

Photo: ilicis

Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

A rare view of the upperside.

Field notes and information

Local but usually common where found in hot oak scrubland across central and southern Europe.

Identification & Similar species: It is very similar to the false ilex hairstreak, S. esculi. The main differences on the underside hindwing are:

* white line is irregular, composed of bold marks, clearly broken at veins, often chevron shaped vs

* orange/red markings are larger and duller orange (rather than red), clearly lined black on outer side of the spots vs small to very small markings tending to orange-red and finely lined black only on the inside, on the outside this is residual or absent.

Also similar to the sloe hairstreak, S. acaciae, which has ligher underside ground colour and orange spots confined to the lower half of the hindwing around the tail which often almost merge together.

Distribution & Flight: Central and south Europe, patchy in Spain. Absent from the UK, Scandinavia and north Africa. Flies from mid May to July.

Habitat & Behaviour: Flies fast and erratically around bushes and trees and frequently congregates on flowers to nectar.

Photo: ilicis

Valais, Switzerland, June 2008

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Valais, Switzerland, February 2012

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Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2013

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Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

Wings spread due to a spider attack.

Photo: ilicis

Valais, Switzerland, June 2012

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2011

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2010

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SE Serbia, June 2012

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Valais, Switzerland, July 2010

Photo: ilicis

Valais, Switzerland, June 2008