Meleager's Blue
Polyommatus (Meleageria) daphnis

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Polyommatus daphnis

Male, Switzerland, August 2012

Polyommatus daphnis

Male, Switzerland, June 2011

Male, Switzerland, July 2007

Polyommatus daphnis

Male, Switzerland, July 2011



Male, Switzerland, July 2009

Polyommatus daphnis

Female, Switzerland, July 2011, form steeveni

Polyommatus daphnis

Female, Switzerland, July 2011



Male, Switzerland, July 2009

Pair mating, Switzerland, July 2007



Female, July 2009, Switzerland

Pair mating, Switzerland, July 2007

Female, Switzerland, July 2005

Female, Switzerland, July 2005

Female, Switzerland, July 2005

Male, Switzerland, July 2006

This is a very distinctive species. The male is clear blue, with a narrow black border and a slightly scalloped hindwing. In many ways, however, the female is the more spectacular butterfly and the one more likely to catch the eye as being 'different'. As these pictures show, she is easily recognised by the scalloped edge of the hindwing, as well as by a very characteristic overall appearance. The male looks far more like a typical blue from the upperside, and has the characteristics of the species in a much milder form - notably less deep scalloping.

Meleager's blues are local in southern France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy, and apparently more widespread further east. My impression is that they are not common, since I have watched thousands of blues and not seen daphnis until the last few years.