Amanda's Blue

Polyommatus (Agrodiaetus) amandus (icarius)


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Polyommatus amandus

Male, Switzerland, June 2011

Polyommatus amandus

Male, Switzerland, May 2011

Polyommatus amandus

Female, Switzerland, June 2011

Polyommatus amandus

Female, Switzerland, June 2012

Polyommatus amandus

Female, Switzerland, June 2011

Polyommatus amandus

Male, Switzerland, May 2011

Polyommatus amandus

Female, Switzerland, June 2012

Polyommatus amandus

Male, Switzerland, June 2011

Polyommatus amandus

Female, Switzerland, June 2012



Male, Switzerland, June 2009



Male, Switzerland, June 2009



Male, Switzerland, June 2009

Male, Val d'Aran, July 2005

Male, Val d'Aran, July 2005

Male, Val d'Aran, July 2005

Female, Val d'Aran

Polyommatus amandus distribution

Distribution

This large species of blue is found locally but sometimes commonly in lush, flowery places where its foodplant - various species of vetch, Vicia, grow in abundance. I see it in the Alps and the Pyrenees, usually above 1500m, but it is said to fly from 100m elsewhere in its range. Although males may fly some distances to take minerals, both sexes are most easily found in their breeding habitats, where they sun and nectar very approachably. They also settle readily on clothes, shoes, backpacks and so forth!

Males are identified by their large size and the broad, dark borders to the forewing uppersides. It should be noted that in fresh specimens this border is only visible from some angles. From others, refractive blue scales dominate and only the maring and veins really look dark. The underside is grey, with orange lunules only on the hindwing, predominantly towards the anal angle. The female is also large, by Lycaenid standards. She is largely brown above, with minimal blue at the wing bases and minimal orange submarginal lunules on the hindwing. Her underside is browner than the male's, again with orange lunules only on the hindwing.

This species is single-brooded, flying from May to July. The caterpillar hibernates while still small and feeds on the growing leaves of the foodplant in the spring.

The specific name amandus was given to this species by Schneider in 1792. It appears Esper had previously named it icarius (in 1789). According to Kudrna and others, icarius is the valid name. See HERE.