Italian Blues....

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rezamink
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Italian Blues....

Postby rezamink » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:17 pm

A family holiday in the Sorrento area gave me an opportunity to head to the mountains for a quick bit of butterfly watching....

Help with ID appreciated! All photos taken at Lake Laceno, Campania, Italy on the 30th July 2017.

This one was fairly large
ZZZUKN LargeBlue170730.LL.IT.JPG


This was a tiny blue (smaller than a typical UK Small Blue):
ZZZ UKN YinyBlue170730a.LL.IT.JPG


About the size of a Common Blue, maybe it is?
ZZZ UKN Blue 170730.LL.IT.JPG


Thank you!

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Paul Wetton
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby Paul Wetton » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:14 pm

Your first and third photos both look like Chalkhill Blue and the second photo may be a small and worn female Silver-studded Blue but I would wait for more expert opinion than mine before writing anything down. Nice photos by the way.
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David M
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby David M » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 pm

Your second one certainly has the look of a worn, female Silver Studded Blue. I fancied your first as a Chalkhill but the specimen in your last image is really weakly marked, although the general colour does seem like coridon, and it also has the black marks going horizontally through the upper wing margin.

rezamink
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby rezamink » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:52 pm

Thanks guy's...

I didn't see 1 and 3 open their wings... otherwise I might have managed an ID!

Thanks again for your help!

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Padfield
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby Padfield » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:59 pm

Hi all. I'm checking posts from my iPhone - usually a good way of making a fool of myself :D - but I would say the middle one can't be silver stud as it has a cell spot. In addition, what is visible of the hindwing ups looks wrong. I would say it is a female common blue. Tiny specimens are common in the summer brood, especially in the context of a heatwave, where foodplant desiccation prompts the larvae to pupate early. In small individuals the spots often look crowded.

Guy
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rezamink
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby rezamink » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:02 pm

Thanks Guy!

I'm presuming these are Male Common Blues from the same area?
CommonBlue170730.LL.IT.JPG


and from Lake Matese on the 25th JUly:
CommonBlue170725a.LM.IT.JPG

rezamink
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby rezamink » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:06 pm

My Blue Highlight of the Trip! someone on Flickr ID'd this as an Italian Furry Blue:

Male Uppers:
ItalianFurry BlueM170730.LL.IT.JPG


Male and Female underside:
ItalianFurry BlueP170730.LL.IT.JPG

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Padfield
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby Padfield » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:11 pm

Yes to the common blues - and note that in blues, unlike other groups, females are often smaller. And yes to the furries! Brilliant! I can't remember the current specific/subspecific status of the Italian populations but will check on my return if no one else has commented.

Guy
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David M
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby David M » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:15 pm

rezamink wrote:My Blue Highlight of the Trip! someone on Flickr ID'd this as an Italian Furry Blue


Cracker! What a great find.

rezamink
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby rezamink » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:19 pm

Thanks Paul, Guy and David.

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Charles Nicol
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby Charles Nicol » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:12 pm

each year in France i come across a tiny blue butterfly which Guy always informs me is a Common Blue :lol:

i am off in a week or so and will no doubt find another miniature one affected by the heatwave :wink:

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Padfield
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby Padfield » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:50 pm

Sorry Charles! Sometimes I'm wrong, though ... :D

The recent monograph on subgenus Agrodiaetus (Lycaenidae part IV, Guide to the Butterflies of the Palearctic Region, 2016) recognises five subspecies of Polyommatus dolus (furry blue): dolus, vittatus, virgilius, gargano and paravirgilius. As the author admits, this is a bit arbitrary, but they are all discrete populations. The butterflies in this post are paravirgilius, which is restricted to the Sorrento Peninsula - a very small area, if the map in the book is right. To me that makes it a brilliant taxon to photograph! You won't see it again unless you go back there!

Some authors lump the three southern Italian subspecies (virgilius, gargano and paravirgilius) together as a separate species, Polyommatus virgilius, which I guess is what your Flickr friends meant by 'Italian furry blue', Rezamink. It doesn't really matter - there is no chance of these populations interbreeding with the north-western Italian populations (ssp. dolus).

Guy
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rezamink
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby rezamink » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:12 pm

Wow! thanks for all the information Guy...

Yes, I was given Italian Furry Blue (Agrodiaetus virgilius) as the ID.

essexbuzzard
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Re: Italian Blues....

Postby essexbuzzard » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:21 pm

A cracker indeed! You've got something there most of us never have, and probably never will, see.


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