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Rarity Waking Up (58)
Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Before the onset of our hot summer a friend and I travelled 400 km (250 miles) to photograph this rare species of blue butterfly

Chequered Blue (Scolantides orion)

Swedish name: Fetörtsblåvinge, meaning 'stonecrop Blue'

We found this female quite early in the morning resting where she spent the night. At first her wings were tightly closed. We waited for the morning sunshine to warm her up. Her wings then took the position in this main image before opening her wings. See the WORKSHOP.
The female is a little larger than the male, is less blue and slightly darker.

This species is rare and the nominate race orion occurs in a few places in the coastal areas south of Stockholm. It is red-listed classified as endangered. This is the second time this sub-species has been posted on TN (I posted an image of the male two months ago) and only the third time as a species.

The larval host plant is Sedum album and it flies from mid-May to mid-June. The habitat is rocky with soils that support a fine flora including the larval host plant. It spends the winter in the pupal stage.

It is also a rarity in S, C, and SE Europe where it occurs as the subspecies lariana.

This was taken with my long lens hand held at a distance of about 1.8meters (6 ft.)
The image was moderately cropped and after size reduction it was selectively sharpened

Altered Image #2

Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Edited by:Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)

The final 'warming-up' position before she flew off. Notice her swollen body filled with developing eggs.

Altered Image #1

Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Edited by:Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)

This was the position of her wings when we first found her on the heather twig, the 'sleeping position'.