All these photos except the last were taken at a single site in France
on an overcast day in 2008. I had not mastered taking pictures in low
light conditions and they are very poor - I felt at the time they
exaggerated the blueness, as well as being somewhat blurred. The last
picture, equally poor for different reasons (!) was taken at a site not
far away a couple of days later. These remain the only Provence
chalkhill blues I have seen. It is not so much that it is a rare
butterfly - it is not, within its range - but rather that I visit its
haunts at the wrong times. Unlike the chalkhill blue, this is a
double-brooded butterfly, flying in May and June and then again from
August into late autumn. I tend to go south in March/April and July.
The identity of the butterflies shown here is vouched for by Tim
Cowles, who showed me the colonies and had been monitoring them
throughout the previous seasons.
The males are blue-grey - appearing off-white in flight (rather like
Spanish chalkhill blues from northern Spain). The forewing ground
colour is more extensive than in typical chalkhill blues, reaching
close to the apex. There may be double dark margins, with pale between,
but very rarely the single, broad marginal band so often seen in
chalkhill blues. Females are more similar to chalkhill blues but
The foodplant is horseshoe vetch, as it is for chalkhill blues, though
it is believed some other Fabaceae
may also be used. It is said to hibernate as an egg.