Baton Blue

Scolitantides (Pseudophilotes) baton


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Scolitantides baton

Male, Switzerland, April 2014



Scolitantides baton

Male, Switzerland, April 2014

Scolitantides baton

Female, Switzerland, April 2014

Scolitantides baton

Female, Switzerland, June 2018

Scolitantides baton

Male, Switzerland, April 2014



Male, Switzerland, May 2013

Male, Rhône Valley, April 2008

Male, Rhône Valley, Switzerland, May 2004

This and the two beneath show a female baton blue, in the Val d'Aran

Scolitantides baton distribution

Distribution

The baton blue is widespread but generally local in most of western Europe. It is absent in the North and replaced in most of Iberia by the Panoptes blue, Scolitantides panoptes. In the eastern half of Europe it is replaced by the almost identical eastern baton blue, Scolitantides vicrama. It thrives in warm places with short grass where its foodplants, principally various species of thyme and lavendar, grow.

The combination of small size, cell spot, chequered fringe and bright orange lunules on the hindwing separate this species from most others. The chequered blue is larger, with much bolder markings beneath. The Panoptes blue has much weaker orange lunules on the hindwing. No other Scolitantides species fly in the same region, though there may be an area of overlap with the eastern baton blue, Scolitantides vicrama, long considered the same species. This is said to be slightly larger but is otherwise identical and probably not safely distinguishable in the field on wing characters alone.

The baton blue has two generations a year, the first flying from April, or sometimes later March, until June, and the second from July until the autumn. It hibernates as a pupa.