Polyommatus coridon nufrallensis

Corsican Chalk Hill Blue

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Bright blue of the male.

Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

All females are of this gorgeous blue form.

Field notes and information

A rare and extremely local taxon only found in a very small area in the mountains of NW Corsica. It was first found in 1975 but then not seen again until 2001.

Just as remarkably, no Hippocrepis species were known from the area. This are the typical food plants for the chalk hill blue P. coridon. Only in 2011 was a species of Hippocrepis new to science discovered and subsequently shown to be the plant exploited by nufrallensis.

Identification & Similar species: This subspecies has a bright blue males and most (all?) females are blue too. There are no similar species on Corsica.

Distribution & Flight: Only found in NW Corsica in the vicinity of Mt. Muvrella (the name nufrellensis is a corruption of Muvrella) and just to the west in the Fango valley, in difficult to reach areas. It is an uncommon butterfly rarely encountered.

Habitat & Behaviour: An unusual subspecies of the chalk hill blue P. coridon in that it flies on non calcareous substrates. The habitat is steep inaccessible rocky mountains.

During the flight period, Corsica is very hot and dry and there are few nectar plants in the habitat. The yellow flowers of the sunflower Doronicum corsicum that can be found in the very few damp areas in the region are a magnet for this and other species.

Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Male underside is pale.

Photo: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Female underside is brown.

Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Some individuals have greatly reduced underside spotting. Here nectaring with Bellier's blue Plebejus bellieri.

Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

With Corsican heath Coenonympha corina.

Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

With common and holly blues Polyommatus icarus, Celastrina argiolus.

Photo: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Almost all the habitat is inaccessible cliffs.

Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

The stream was really the only place where nectar plants were found. They attracted many butterflies.

Photo: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Female.

Photo: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Photo: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensisPhoto: coridon nufrallensis

Corsica, France, July 2012

Female.