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Polyommatus icarus

Polyommatus icarus
Photo Information
Copyright: Luciano Gollini (lousat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-05-06
Categories: Insects
Exposure: f/4, 1/300 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-05-10 9:00
Viewed: 3027
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Superfamily: Papilionoidea

Family: Lycaenidae

Subfamily: Polyommatinae

Tribe: Polyommatini

Genus: Polyommatus

Species: P. icarus

The Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) is a small butterfly in the family Lycaenidae.
Male uppersides are an iridescent lilac blue with a thin black border. Females are brown with a row of red spots along the edges. They usually have some blue at the base of the wings and, especially in Ireland and Scotland, are mostly blue but always have the red spots. Undersides have a greyish ground colour in the males and more brownish in the females. Both sexes have a row of red spots along the edge of the hindwings (extending onto the forewings though generally fainter, particularly in the males where they are sometimes missing altogether). There are about a dozen black centered white spots on the hind wings, nine on the forwings. The white fringe on the outer edge of the wings is not crossed with black lines as it is in the Chalkhill and Adonis Blues, an important difference when separating these species, particularly the females.
It is Britain's (and probably Europe's) most common and most widespread blue, found as far north as Orkney and on most of the Outer Hebrides. Males are often very obvious as they defend territories against rivals and search out the more reclusive females. A range of grassland habitats are used: meadows, coastal dunes, woodland clearings and also many man made habitats, anywhere where their food plants are found.
It is widespread in Europe, North Africa and temperate Asia.The main food plant on most sites is Bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). Others used include Black Medick Medicago lupulina, Common Restharrow Ononis repens, White Clover Trifolium repens and Lesser Trefoil Trifolium dubium. Eggs are laid singly on young shoots of their food plants.
The caterpillar is small, pale green with yellow stripes and as usual with lycid larvae rather slug-like. Hibernation occurs as a half grown larvae. They are attractive to ants but not as much as some other species of blues. The chrysalis is olive green/brown and formed on the ground where it is attended by ants which will often take it into their nests. The larvae creates a substance called honey dew, which the ants eat while the butterfly lives in the ant hill. In the south of Britain there are two broods a year flying in May and June and again in August and September. Northern England has one brood flying between June and September. In a long warm year there is sometimes a partial third brood in the south flying into October.

Polyommatus icarus
(Rottemburg, 1775)
Argo azzurro

30-35 mm. - Comune in tutta Italia.
Piccolo lepidottero dallo spiccato dimorfismo sessuale. I maschi con ali superiormente blu e con riflessi violacei, margini soffusi di nero e contornati di frange bianche. Le femmine hanno livrea marrone con riflessi bluastri. Le parti inferiori, in ambedue i sessi, sono grigiastre o marrone chiaro, con macchie nere contornate di bianco e serie complete di lunule arancioni puntate di nero.
La specie, svernante allo stadio di bruco, compare da aprile in poi con due o tre generazioni annuali. Le larve vanno alla ricerca di varie Papilionacee (gen. Medicago, Genista, Trifolium, Lathyrus, Ononis, Lotus, ecc..); si presentano verdi con linea medio dorsale più scura e fianchi percorsi a livello degli stigmi da una fascia biancastra. La ninfosi dura circa due settimane.

L'areale abbraccia Europa ed Asia temperata, presente anche in Nordafrica e Anatolia. In Italia è specie alquanto diffusa dal livello del mare ai 2000 m. Nel territorio è tra i più comuni lepidotteri, lo si riscontra in cespuglieti, siepi e margini boschivi. (note in italiano fregate dal sito di Silvio Sorcini)

nglen, Silvio2006, Argus, cicindela, jaycee, boreocypriensis, nasokoun, CeltickRanger, Alex99, tuslaw, anel, Noisette, jconceicao, mvdisco has marked this note useful
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To Noisette: merciiilousat 1 05-12 14:31
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-05-10 9:08]

Hi Luciano. You have a common Blue already. Your POV shows both sides of the wing . The underside with all of its markings shows up so well. With good detail and bright colours. well done TFs.

Ciao luciano, sempre carina sta piccoletta, io quest'anno ancora non l'ho incontrata, strano che se ne vedono a mucchi da noi, ottima composizione da un bel POV che ci consente di vedere ambo le facce delle ali, bella macro, bravo, ciao Silvio

Merhaba Luciano,çok hoş bir kelebk ve fotoğrafı.Ne güzel,ve ne kadar zarif,ellerine sağlık :)

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-05-10 9:28]

Hello Luciano,
A fine capture of P. icarus taken from a great POV to show th half-open wings of this male with fine sharpness and detail against a pleasing OOF natural BG. It must be soon time to see them here too!
Thanks and best regards,

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2009-05-10 10:07]

Ciao Luciano,
great sharpness, great colours, great picture!
Also, the point of view is well selected.
Only, the background is a bit noisy.
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-05-10 11:01]

Hello Luciano,
Beautiful picture of this butterfly. Very good POV and DOF.Fine contrast, nice light and very good colours.
Best regards Siggi

Ciao Luciano!
Nice capture of Lycaenidae species. Natural colours and good sharpness are main favourite elements of this picture. I believe that the sun was very strong when you took this photo :)
All the best from Poland,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-05-10 12:18]

Hello Luciano,
Beautiful photo in very nice clear and contrasting colours. Excellent sharp details and POV.

Ciao Luciano. Bella presa per la prima icarus della stagione. Il POV ti ha permesso di beccare anche l'iterno delle ali. Alquanto difficile di solito.


Bonsoir Luciano,
Très beau travail, avec une superbe composition toute en finesse. J'aime beaucoup la pose du papillon semi-ouvert, ce qui nous permet de voir ses deux faces. Bonne semaine,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-05-10 16:20]

Hi Luciano,

The Common Blue is always beautiful but you make it look even more so. A perfect pose to show both sides of the wings. The colors and markings are lovely. Excellent details and textures of this beauty. Another superb setting and composition.


Ciao amico Luciano, stunningly perfect macro capture of this blue beauty with excellent datails and nice composition.
TFS this beauty and take care!
Also thanks for your kind wishes on my mum health!
All the best!


hi Luciano
very beautiful glance and a litted up composition full by beautiful colours,fine shot very fine photo

hello Luciano

beautiful photo soth with very fine POV and framing,
beautiful luminosity of the image coming from the sun,
excellent sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-05-11 8:21]

Hi Luciano.
Precise photo of this small and very cute butterfly. I like fine a bit back POV, blameless composition of the picture and superb details of the entire butterfly image and nice flowers. BG is wonderful too and level of its blurriness is also precise. My kind wishes and compliments.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-05-11 20:16]

A beautiful little butterfly Luciano,
Very delicate looking wing texture especially on the outer edges. You captured excellent detail and wonderful shades of blue colors in the butterfly's wings. Well done!!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-05-12 4:27]

Bonjour Luciano,
Un joli petit Lycaenidae que j'ai aussi aperçu il y a a quelques jours près de chez moi. Bonne netteté de l'image et jolie pose du papillon, permettant de voir les deux faces des ailes pour bien le reconnaître.
Meilleures pensées

Bonjour Luciano
magnifique photo de cet Argus Bleu, très belle composition avec un joli décor
j'adore l'effet du soleil sur la fleur et les superbes détails sur le papillon
La pose et le point de vue sont excellents
passe une bonne nuit

  • Great 
  • izida Silver Star Critiquer [C: 47 W: 0 N: 0] (1232)
  • [2009-05-12 14:56]

Merhabalar Luciano,
Guzel yakalamissiniz kelebegi,
elinize saglik

Hello Luciano,

Great capture.
Nice colours with fantastic detail.
Lighting and composition are splendid.
Good notes.

Hi Luciano,
WoW! Très jolie ce papillon, belle composition et présentation , Excellente photo macro avec de belles couleurs et lumière,
tous mes complimenti.

hello Luciano
great composition
good sharpness and details
beautiful colours
greeting lou

Ciao Luciano
i dettagli sono molto buoni ed i colori bene resi.
grazie per questo icarus

Hi Luciano,
nice shot of this common blue.
I like the POV which allows yout to see both sides of its wings.
TFS Tatjana

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