Distribution: N Portugal, W Pyrenees, much of France and eastwards
across Germany and to northern Greece. Distribution is not well know due to the
uncertainties of identification between this species and the very similar Alcon
Blue, M. alcon.
Identification: Fairly large blues, undersides are uniform brown with
small black spots circled white. Male uppersides of a violet blue. Females with
blue basal areas and shady spots on the upperside reminiscent of the other
Maculinea species. See also the Maculinea identification page
for more information. Discovery of the egg laying site may help - on flowers of
Gentianapneumonanthe would indicate M. alcon, on leaves of
Gentiana cruciata well before flowering would indicate M. rebeli. Separation from
M. alcon is by the broader black margins
of the upperside male and the extensive blue basal areas in the females.
However, mitochondrial DNA evidence is insufficient to separate the species, and
there appears to be overlap between the appearance of the species, habitats and foodplants used which could all be related to altitude or other ecological
Flight time: Mid June at lower levels and July.
Habitat: Fairly dry areas at lower levels and damp meadows amongst
trees at alpine levels. Eggs are laid, principally, on Gentiana cruciata,
Cross Gentian, but also reported from other Gentiana.
Behaviour: Limited experience with this species indicates that it will
congregate in a small area where courting and mating will occur.