Due to the sheer number of named aberrations for some species, not all are shown on the species pages - only those for which corresponding images are available. This page, however, provides access to all of the named aberrations for a given species, where known and Goodson & Read (1969) is a key resource in this regard.
Although far more consistent in colour and marking than its close relative the Chalk Hill Blue, the Adonis Blue is a considerably variable butterfly nonetheless.
In common with other members of the family, this species demonstrates much variation in the number, size and orientation of the underside spotting, ranging from the extremes of ab. Krodeli (absence of spotting to the underside) to heavily striated examples where the familiar spots are greatly extended into black streaks (ab. striata).
The blue of the male upperside can also vary; in some examples there is a distinctly green tint to the wings (ab. viridescens) while others are sometimes of a pale shade (ab. pallida). A grey-blue colouration is known as ab. suffusa and examples where the typical blue colour is replaced by a blue-black shade are known as ab. nigra.
The blue form of the female in which the blue scaling extends over the fore and hind wings obliterating the brown ground colour except along the costa and outer margins, and with orange lunules present on all wings is called ab. ceronus. Where the orange lunules are present on the hindwings only this is referred to as ab. semiceronus. The amount of blue on the female is subject to much variation and at first may appear random, with each 'blue female' appearing different from the next, however, once you start looking at these females closely you begin to see that the same traits do occur again and again, and all of a sudden the distribution of blue scales and development of the lunules is far from random but actually made up of a finite series of recognisable and repeating characteristics. It is these repeating characteristics that enables us to name these aberrations from descriptions made over a century ago. The blue aberrations of the female Adonis Blue are more frequently met with in the spring brood, suggesting an environmental trigger at the heart of these suffusions.
Very rarely this species is known to hybridise with its close relative the Chalkhill Blue, resulting in specimens that bare traits from each species and a colouration that appears (in the male) to be half way between each species in their typical forms. This butterfly is traditionally known as ab. polonus, although being a hybrid it is not an aberration as such at all. Strictly speaking it should probably be known as bellargus x coridon. It is well worth looking out for this hybrid at sites where both species fly together. Polonus is encountered within the spring brood of Adonis Blue.
Gynandromorphs occur in this species but are rare. Occasionally female specimens will be found with strong streaks of male colouration on one or more wings (sexual mosaics or mixed gynandromorphs) and very rarely halved gynandromorphs are encountered where the butterfly exhibits male colouration on one side, and female colouration on the other, even on the abdomen.
There are 109 named aberrations known to occur in Britain.
= pluripuncta Courvoisier.Iris.1912.26.p.58.
On the underside several small extra spots usually between the submedian spots and the discoidal spot. These sometimes dribble together in the form of thin streaks. In coridon [Polyommatus coridon, Chalk Hill Blue] Tutt called these streaked ones juncta but in bellargus lumps them together as addenda. Courvoisier however has named these semidigitata, it would therefore be best to use the name addenda for specimens merely having small extra spots not dribbled together.
= leocophthalma Stauder.Z.Wiss.Ins.Biol.1923.18.p.188.
Female. On the forewings the black discoidal point is edged with white or whitish.
Female. The upperside of all wings of a pale washed out khaki-yellow, with faint marginal lunules.
On the underside the spots are white without the black centres.
The upper and underside showing no black bars or chequerings on the white fringes. Some authors place hyacinthus Lewin as this form because the very bad figure shows no bars on the fringes of the male, but the female figure shows some on one wing. Lewin, by the name, obviously named it on colour since the fringes are not mentioned in his description.
Male. On the upperside of the hindwings white or whitish marks preceding the fringe which almost link up to form a white line. Verity named a similar form in the female ab. caeruleolineata in which these marks are blue.
Female with white-edged marginal moons on the hindwings. This is all Vorbrodt says, whether or not they are on the inner or outer edge is not stated.
On the underside the spots of the hindwings are as large or larger than those of the forewings.
= weileri Stauder.Deutsch.Ent.Z.1924.p.28.
Tuttâ€™s figure shows the underside of the forewings with no spots except the discoidal. The hindwings with spots but small and asymmetrical. Stauderâ€™s form was described as having the forewings ab. krodeli Gillmer (no spots except the discoidal) and the hindwings normal.
Male. The upperside silvery-grey. The underside dark grey without red marginal spots.
Underside of the forewings blackish-grey, the hindwings brown-black. Both sexes.
Female with the marginal lunules bright orange.
= retrojuncta Courvoisier.Iris.1912.26.p.50.
On the underside of the hindwings the third basal spot is connected to a submedian spot to form a bar or streak.
= biarcuata Tutt.Brit.Lep.1909.X.pl.42.f.12.
On the underside of the forewings a double arc is formed above the inner margin by the union of basal and submedian spots.
Female which has all wings entirely blue as in ab. coelestis OberthÃ¼r but on the hindwings there are black scales concentrated in the median area, in the interneural spaces, in ray-like formation.
= binulata Beuret.Lamb.1927.27.p.56.
On the underside of the forewings an extra spot next to the discoidal giving the impression of a double discoidal spot. This may be the same as ab. discoidalis-duplex Tutt, but Tutt states that one spot is split into two and Courvoisier says an extra spot is present.
= basi-elongata Courvoisier.Iris.1912.26.p.46.
On the underside of the forewings there are two bars or elongated spots at the base instead of the normal two round spots.
Not valid. Female (hypothetical). Wings brown with no trace of marginal lunules. The author himself says that he has never known it to occur in bellargus. Apparently the name was included under bellargus to fit the Courvoisier Scheme with a remark that this rather common form in other Lycaenids did not occur in this species [bellargus].
Female which are distinctly brownish on the upperside.
All blue females. Courvoisier gave this name to cover all females predominantly blue and includes a number of forms such as ceronus, coelestis, urania etc., all of which are treated as distinct aberrations. Courvoisier wished to standardise names and do away with the many slightly different forms, but the law of priority will not allow such a course. The name cannot be used.
Female with blue scaling at the base of the forewings and on the hindwings the orange lunules externally edged with blue. In addition there are blue wedges or chevrons edging the lunules on their internal side. The orange lunules are on the hindwings only.
Female. On the forewings the discoidal point is ringed or edged with blue.
Female in which the orange marginal lunules of the hindwings are edged on their external side with blue, immediately preceding the fringe.
Female. On the hindwings the discoidal spot is replaced by blue.
The coloured figure shows the upperside of the forewings well dusted with a pale whitish-blue except on the costa. There are no orange marginal lunules. The hindwings are brown, dusted with whitish-blue only at the base. A row of orange marginal lunules enclosed in an edging of whitish-blue. This whitish-blue is quite different from the usual blue, which bellargus females develop.
Female with the upperside of the forewings blue from base to beyond the discoidal point. On the hindwings the blue extends from the centre to the orange marginal lunules, also along the inner margin. The orange lunules are on the hindwings only.
Female with the forewings blue-scaled from the base to beyond the discoidal point. The hindwings blue-scaled from the centre of the wing to the orange marginal lunules and along the inner margin. The orange lunules are well represented on the hindwings and faintly on the forewings.
Female with the forewings blue-scaled from the base to beyond the discoidal point. The hindwings blue from the centre outwards to the orange marginal lunules and on the inner margin. The orange lunules are well-developed on all four wings.
Female in which the blue scaling extends over the fore and hindwings obliterating the brown ground except along the costa and outer margins. The orange lunules are present on all wings and the veins are outlined in black.
Female with the blue extending over all wings except on the costa and margins and the veins. The orange marginal lunules are present on the hindwings and faintly on the forewings.
= postico-obsoleta Tutt.Brit.Lep.1909.X.pl.42.f.12.
On the hindwings underside the spots are absent except the discoidals. Staudinger, in error, gave cinnus Hubner as belonging to bellargus in his Cat.ED.2.1871; cinnus Hubner is in fact a coridon [Polyommatus coridon, Chalk Hill Blue] form.
Female in which all the wings are entirely blue including the margins, costa and veins. Orange marginal lunules are present on all wings.
On the underside of the forewings there are four basal spots, the discoidal spot is split into two and above the inner margin is an arc or curved bar formed by the union of a submedian spot with a basal spot (arcuata). On the hindwings the third basal spot is connected with an opposite submedian spot.
The figure shows the underside of the forewings with the marginal spots united with the submedian spots to form short thick bars, their ends not sharp pointed as in striata Tutt. The hindwings are similar but asymmetrical. Tutt gave the name conjuncta to cover any form which showed bars formed by the union of two spots as opposed to streaks caused by the elongation of spots but the type specimen he figured must be taken as conjuncta.
On the underside of the hindwings the upper basal spot is connected with the upmost submedian spot to form a bar or streak.
Male. The upperside dark sky-blue with a very dull sheen, not the bright blue of the typical.
On the underside the spots are very large.
Female with blue scaling at the base of the forewings and on the hindwings the orange lunules externally edged with blue. In addition there are blue wedges on the internal edge of the orange lunules. These are well-developed on the hindwings and faintly on the forewings.
Female with blue scaling at the base of the forewings and on the hindwings the orange lunules externally edged with blue. In addition there are blue wedges on the internal side of the lunules. The orange lunules are well-developed on all wings.
Male. The upperside bluish-grey.
On the underside the premarginal small black dots are absent and the ground colour is silvery-white. Figured by Verity in colour in Farf.Diurn.It.2.pl.16.f.5. In his original description in the Bull.Soc.Ent.It., Verity, in error, gives fig.15 for the bellargus ab. detersa but also gives fig.15 for an escheri [Polyommatus escheri, Escherâ€™s Blue] form. The bellargus form is fig.19, proved by the coloured example in the Farfalle which is the same specimen figured in the Bull.Soc.Ent.It.
On the underside of both fore and hindwings the submedian spots are elongated towards the discoidal but do not reach it.
On the underside of the forewings a submedian spot unites with the discoidal spot in a streak.
On the underside of the forewings the discoidal spot is split into two.
On the underside there is no discoidal spot on the forewings.
Male. The upperside brilliant shining silky blue or pearly blue.
= flavomaculata Lekic.Z.Ost.Ent.Ver.1924.9.p.42.
Female with the marginal lunules, above and below, yellow.
The description merely says it is like the form of the same name in icarus [Polyommatus icarus, Common Blue] by Courvoisier. The description in Seitz says on the underside the area of the orange marginal lunules is duskily diffused and gives the reference Lyc.Basel.p.10.
Underside of the forewings dark grey, the hindwings strongly browned. Both sexes.
Female with a grey reflection on the upperside especially at the apex of the forewings where they are truly grey.
= bellargoides Verity.Bull.Soc.Ent.It.1904.36.p.11.
= coppelia Thiery-Mieg.Le Nat.1910.32.p.167.
On the underside of the forewings there are no basal spots.
On the underside the marginal chevrons are grey instead of red.
The wings showing different varietal forms. Tutt described a female with the right forewing blue, as in ceronus Esper, and the left wing brown. Both hindwings brown.
= caeca Courvoisier.Iris.1912.26.p.63.
On the underside of all wings the spots are absent except for the discoidals. Tutt claims that his obsoleta covers this form but his early description in British Butterflies must be taken as obsoleta. This has the spots tending towards obsolescence.
The wings deep black with deep blue disc and a faint row of marginal spots. Hindwings with a row of marginal spots, the fringes barred with brown. This is placed under icarus [Polyommatus icarus, Common Blue] by Tutt but since Kirby makes the chief point of difference from icarus thestylis the fact that the hindwings are barred with brown it would seem to belong to bellargus with worn forewings. It would probably be best not to use the name.
Female with all the wings blue as in ab. coelestis OberthÃ¼r but with the orange marginal lunules completely absent on all four wings.
Female with the reddish-yellow marginal lunules fusing together to form bands on all wings.
Female. The upperside brown with orange lunules on the hindwings and appearing faintly on the forewings.
Large specimens over 38mm.
= rufomarginata Wagner.Ent.Z.1909.23.p.17.
Female. The upperside of the wings brown with bright and well-developed marginal lunules on all four wings.
Female with brilliant adonis-blue over the whole wing area with a very distinct metallic sheen. This may well be the ab. inaequalis Tutt of coridon [Polyommatus coridon, Chalk Hill Blue], though it is unusual to see a specimen with the blue over all the wings [Goodson & Read].
= minor Tutt.Brit.Lep.1909.X.p.336.
Small specimens under 26mm.
On the underside a combination of obsoleta Tutt and striata Tutt characters. Forewings with the basal spots practically absent but between the submedian spots and discoidal there are small extra spots (addenda Tutt). The fifth submedian is lengthened or elongated. On the hindwings the first and sixth submedian spots are much extended but the whole centre of the wings spotless and there are only two basal spots. The most interesting points are (i) the white of the discoidal spot spreads over the whole central area and (ii) the submedian spots are pushed outwards on to the marginal chevrons, the latter on the forewings are broadly white with grey apices, on the hindwings also broadly white but with orange apices, the margins therefore look particularly pale.
Described from two â€˜blackâ€™ males exhibited by Sabine at a meeting of the South London Entomological Society. These Sabine specimens are described by South in Entom.20.1887. The first one as â€œblue-black, with small black spots on the hind margins and a dash of brownish colour along the inner margins of the hindwings. Nervures black, running through the whitish fringesâ€. The second specimen as â€œblue-black, somewhat darker than the first, fringes chequered dark grey and blackâ€. The form therefore is blue-black with the fringes grey or dark grey and chequered with black. Ab. totonigra Lipscomb has the fringes black and is much more extreme.
Female which are blackish-fuscous on the upperside.
On the underside the spots are black without the surrounding white circles.
= paucipuncta Courvoisier.Iris.1912.26.p.63.
On the underside of all wings the spots tend to obsolescence. This description is the one given by Tutt in his first work British Butterflies and must remain as the one for obsoleta Tutt. In his later work however, Brit.Lep.1909.X.p.354, he claims that his obsoleta applies to completely obsolete forms and that therefore Gillmerâ€™s ab. krodeli is a synonym. The transitional forms are so much more plentiful than the completely spotless form that Gillmer was quite right in naming the extreme form krodeli in 1900 since Tutt had stated that his obsoleta was only tending towards obsolescence. Tuttâ€™s obsoleta therefore had the spots fewer in number but not completely absent.
Underside of the forewings whitish-grey, the hindwings yellowish. Both sexes.
= pallida Mosley.Nat.Journ.Suppl.1896.p.9.
The upperside pale lavender. The underside with the usual white rings but no spots, the rings being blind. Austin does not state the sex but it is presumably male. Mosley includes the female in his pallida, of a pale brown. This is the form often referred to as a hybrid between icarus [Common Blue] and bellargus [Adonis Blue].
On the underside of the forewings two submedian spots unite with the discoidal spot. This is the description in 1912 when parallela was included as occurring in bellargus. In an earlier description before bellargus was included it was stated that the other submedians were elongated.
Male. The right wings normal blue, the left ones lilac-grey.
On the underside the spots are very small.
On the underside most of the spots are absent and a complete absence of the orange marginal lunules. The margins are pure white, the white tending to approach towards the base in a series of arrow-shaped marks.
Male. Like bellargus but of a very glossy pale colouring, in certain lights pale blue, in others silvery-white with a greenish tinge. Since Verity thinks this may be a hybrid between bellargus [Adonis Blue] and arragonensis [Polyommatus albicans arragonensis, Spanish Chalk Hill Blue] it most probably does not belong here.
= polona Herrich-SchÃ¤ffer.Schmett.Eur.1849.1.p.91.
Said to be a hybrid between bellargus and coridon. Brighter ground colour than the normal coridon male, intermediate between the two species. The forewings show almost lineal borders, edged inwardly on the blue with black spots. The hindwings marginal black spots are very distinct and well circled with whitish. The forewings look more like bellargus and the hindwings much nearer coridon. Another form is dull in ground colour with a strong sheen of violet or purple-blue, the outer borders a mere line, the spotting small and indistinct.
Female. Upperside brown with orange lunules on the hindwings only.
On the underside of the hindwings the submedian spots are elongated towards the discoidal spot. Forewings normal.
= parvipuncta Aigner.Rov.Lapok.1905.12.p.14.,Ent.Z.1906.19.p.209.
= nigromaculata Bright & Leeds.Mon.Coridon.1938.p.113.
Male with a row of well-defined little black spots in the margins of the hindwings upperside.
On the underside of the forewings there is a spot and a bar at the base instead of the normal two spots.
Male. The upperside strongly tinged with purple or violet.
On the underside of the forewings there are four basal spots.
On the underside of the forewings the basal spots unite into one streak. Another streak, in the form of an arc above the inner margin, is formed by the union of a submedian spot with the base (arcuata). On the hindwings the first basal spot is connected to the first submedian in a streak and the lowest basal with its opposite submedian to form another streak, making four streaks on each pair of wings.
Female. On the hindwings the nervures are of a brilliant azure blue and the interneural spaces deep blue, encroaching and radiating on the black towards the margins. Just before the margin the dark tint is effaced and azure blue alone remains. The forewings are somewhat similar but less prominently so.
Female with the marginal lunules red.
= rubro-maculata OberthÃ¼r.Lep.Comp.1909.3.pl.19.f.57.
= rufolunulata Tutt.Brit.Lep.1909.X.p.350.
Male. Rostagno apparently thought the ab. ceronus Esper which has the wings completely blue to be a male, â€œit is the ab. ceronus Esper with the black marginal spots of the hindwings bordered on their upper part by bright fulvousâ€. The form is therefore the same as OberthÃ¼râ€™s and Tuttâ€™s forms which were males with orange lunules on the margins of the upperside of the hindwings.
Female with blue scaling at the base of the forewings and on the hindwings the orange lunules externally edges with blue. The orange lunules are well-developed on all wings.
On the underside the marginal lunules are rounded off as in coridon [Polyommatus coridon, Chalk Hill Blue], not acuminate as in usual bellargus.
On the underside of the forewings a basal spot attempts to unite with the lowest submedian spot and forms an interrupted arc just above the inner margin.
Female in which the blue extends over all wings except on the costa and margins and the veins. The orange marginal lunules are present on the hindwings only.
Female with the wings completely blue, including costa, margins and veins. The orange marginal lunules are on the hindwings only.
= radiata OberthÃ¼r.(nom.preoc.Gaschet).Lep.Comp.1909.3.p.407.pl.19.f.62.
= radiata Gelin(nom.preoc.Gaschet).Bull.Soc.Ent.Fr.1914.pl.1.f.3.
On the underside of the forewings small extra black spots dribbled together to form streaks. The fifth submedian spot is elongated tadpole-shaped towards the discoidal spot. OberthÃ¼râ€™s name cannot stand since it is preoccupied. Gelinâ€™s radiata had the spots of the forewings confluent in various ways like teardrops. The figure shows the fifth submedian elongated to the discoidal spot and most of the other submedian spots tadpole-shaped.
On the upperside of all wings pure white spots 1.5mm in width and parallel with the borders. A black spot is present on the hindwing on the second spot from the inner margin.
= extrema Courvoisier.Iris.1912.26.p.56.
In this original description in his British Butterflies, Tutt merely said, â€œthe spots of the underside were elongated to form streaksâ€. In his later work however, in Brit.Lep.X, he described and figures the type specimen. This shows all wings heavily rayed or streaked starting at the marginal spots, travelling through the submedians, and reaching the discoidal spot area, two of the rays actually uniting with the discoidal spot. The basal spot of the forewings is also united with the discoidal spot. On the hindwings the marginal spots unite with the submedians to form bars or short streaks and the basal spots are shaped like bars.
Female with the wings completely blue, including costa, margins and veins. Orange marginal lunules on the hindwings and faintly on the forewings.
On the underside of the forewings the spots are reduced in number and on the hindwings completely absent except for the discoidal.
= digitata Courvoisier.Z.Wiss.Ins.Biol.1907.3.p.36.pl.1.f.22.
On the underside of the forewings two of the submedian spots link up with the discoidal spot, the rest of them being elongated. The basal spot is also linked with the discoidal. Hindwings normal.
Male. Dark leaden blue.
Male. The upperside rather pale purplish-grey. The name is more of a description and possibly not acceptable.
= arcuata Courvoisier.Mitt.Schweiz.Ent.Ges.1903.XI.p.21.
On the underside of the forewings a basal spot is united with a submedian just above the inner margin to form a curved streak or arc. This form is generally referred to as arcuata but tiphys is an older name. The figure in Esperâ€™s Eur.Schmett. looks as much like coridon [Polyommatus coridon, Chalk Hill Blue] as bellargus but most authors consider it bellargus.
Upperside of all wings dark purple-blue. Body, thorax and antennae black as are also the fringes. Underside dark smoky-grey, hindwings smoky-brown, the spots typical but the white rings which normally surround them and the discoidal spot of the hindwings are obliterated.
On the underside of the forewings there are three basal spots.
On the underside of the forewings there is only one basal spot.
Female with blue scaling from the base to beyond the discoidal point but with no trace of orange marginal lunules. Described as a male but, as Tutt says, obviously a female.
Female with blue scaling at the base of the forewings and on the hindwings thin blue marks on the external edge of the marginal lunules. These are orange and well-developed on the hindwings but absent on the forewings.
Female with blue scaling at the base of the forewings and on the hindwings the orange marginal lunules externally edged with blue. These lunules are well-developed on the hindwings and show faintly on the forewings.
Male. The upperside greenish-blue.