Scolitantides orion

Chequered Blue

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: orion

Var, France, May 2005

Photo: orion

Valais, Switzerland, May 2006

Field notes and information

A spectacular and distinctive species of hot dry rocky banks and stoney places.

Identification & Similar species: The very strongly chequered fringes, bold underside spots and dark slaty grey blue upperside make this species unmistakable.

Distribution & Flight: Northeast Spain, parts of south France, Italy and eastwards. Extremely local in central Scandinavia. It is generally a spring butterfly of April and May but a second generation is reported in Switzerland. In Valais I've only ever found one or two butterflies July/ August which would represent a very small, partial second brood.

Habitat & Behaviour: Very hot dry exposed rocky slopes, stone walls or cliffs where the Sedum food plants grow.

Variation: Highly variable. The blue on the upperside of the males varies from bright and extensive to almost absent depending on location but also individual variation. The intensity of the underside markings is also variable.

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2010

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2015

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2015

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

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Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

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Cluj, Romania, May 2009

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Alpes Maritimes, France, May 2012

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Triglav, Slovenia, July 2014

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Macedonia, Greece, May 2004

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SE Serbia, June 2012

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Piedmont, Italy, June 2011

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Valais, Switzerland, April 2011

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014