Pseudophilotes panoptes

Panoptes Blue

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Field notes and information

A small discrete species, found in hot dry scrubby places with thyme, Thyums, in central and southern Spain.

Identification & Similar species: Very similar to the baton blue, P. baton, with which it may fly across northern Spain. In general the panoptes blue,P. panpotes, lacks all but the most rudimentary orange underside hindwing markings. Another similar species, the false baton blue, P. abencerrargus, is extremely similar and they do fly together in limited areas of south Spain and south Portugal. To date I am unsure about how to separate them, although the false baton is said to have steely grey blue uppersides compared to the brighter blue of panoptes. I'm yet to be convinced if this is sufficient to separate the species in the field.

Distribution & Flight: From Catalonia and the southern Pyrenees throughout Spain and Portugal.

April/ June and July/ August according to the standard textbooks. In Catalonia, sites were I found it commonly in May 2007 had no butterflies in early August 2003.

Habitat & Behaviour: Hot dry clearings in scrub and light woodland with the larval food plant thyme, Thymus, nearby. It flies low to the ground where its small size and quick movement make it difficult to follow amongst the sparse grasses and low plants that make up its habitat. But it rarely flies far, often returning to the same patch of flowers again and again.

Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Photo: panoptesPhoto: panoptesPhoto: panoptesPhoto: panoptesPhoto: panoptesPhoto: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

A female egg laying on thyme Thymus.

Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Photo: panoptes

Catalonia, Spain, May 2007

Photo: panoptes

Andalucia, Spain, May 2008

In southern Spain May appears to be late in the season for this butterfly.