Short-tailed Blue

Cupido argiades (kew-PY-doh ar-jee-AY-deez)

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (3)
Photo © Pete Eeles
 

Wingspan
20 - 30mm

Checklist Number
61.011

Family:LycaenidaeLeach, 1815
Subfamily:PolyommatinaeSwainson, 1827
Tribe:PolyommatiniSwainson, 1827
Genus:CupidoSchrank, 1801
Subgenus:EveresHübner, [1819]
Species:argiades(Pallas, 1771)

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Introduction

This butterfly is one of the rarest immigrants to the British Isles with only 17 records in total. The first acknowledged specimens were seen on 18th and 20th August 1885 on Bloxworth Heath in Dorset, leading to the species' earlier name of the Bloxworth Blue. However, it subsequently turned out that a pair had been seen in a small quarry near Frome in Somerset in 1874. Half of all records were recorded in 1885 and 1945, two exceptional years for immigrants. All records come from southern England and the Channel Islands and most records have been recorded from a relatively-small area that encompasses east Dorset, west Hampshire and south Somerset. It has been suggested that these individuals have flown the channel from the heaths of Brittany in northern France, where the species can be abundant.

Cupido argiades Historic Specimens

This species was first defined in Pallas (1771) as shown here (type locality: Samara, Russia).

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (1)

Male
Photo © Pete Eeles

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (2)

Male Underside
Photo © Pete Eeles

Short - Tailed Blue Female - Argentat - France - 15-07-12

Female
Photo © William

Short - Tailed Blue Female - Argentat - France - 14-07-12

Female Underside
Photo © William

Photo Album ...


History

The table below shows a chronology of vernacular names attributed to this species. Any qualification of the name (e.g. male, female) is shown in brackets after the name.

YearNameReference
1896Small Tailed BlueKirby (1896)
1906Bloxworth BlueSouth (1906)
1913Short-tailed BlueNewman & Leeds (1913)

Conservation Status

No conservation action is relevant for this species.

Habitat

Description to be completed.

Distribution

1.2 Rare Migrant
 

This species is a rare migrant to the British Isles.

Life Cycle

All individuals found in the British Isles have occurred between July and September.

Imago

Description to be completed.

Description to be completed.

Cupido argiades Historic Specimens

Short-tailed Blue - male - Jósvaf?, Hungary - 03-Jul-12

Photo © Pete Eeles
03-Jul-2012

E. argiades SE Moravia (CZE) Jun 24th 2009

Photo © traplican

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (11)

Photo © Pete Eeles
04-Sep-2008

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (1)

Photo © Pete Eeles
04-Sep-2008

Short - Tailed Blue Female - Argentat - France - 15-07-12

Photo © William
15-Jul-2012

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - St Guyomard, South Brittany, France - 03-Aug-04 [Pete Smith]

Photo © Pete Smith

Short-tailed Blue  / Cantabrian Mts  Spain June 2012

Photo © johnb
11-Jul-2012

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (10)

Photo © Pete Eeles
04-Sep-2008

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (3)

Photo © Pete Eeles
04-Sep-2008

E. argiades SE Moravia (CZE) Aug 02nd 2009

Photo © traplican

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Broadstock Quarry, Portland, Dorset - 05-Aug-09 [Malcolm Hunt]

Photo © Malcolm Hunt
Dorset
05-Aug-2009

E. argiades SE Moravia (CZE) Aug 28th 2009

Photo © traplican

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Farm Lator, Hungary - 08-Jul-06 (0558)

Photo © Pete Eeles
08-Jul-2006

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Farm Lator, Hungary - 08-Jul-06 (0560)

Photo © Pete Eeles
11-Jul-2006

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (9)

Photo © Pete Eeles
04-Sep-2008

E. argiades SE Moravia (CZE) Aug 02nd 2009

Photo © traplican

Short - Tailed Blue Female - Argentat - France - 14-07-12

Photo © William
14-Jul-2012

Short-tailed Blue - female - Jósvaf?, Hungary - 03-Jul-12

Photo © Pete Eeles
03-Jul-2012

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 02-Sep-08 (2) {REARED}

Photo © Pete Eeles
02-Sep-2008

Short-Tailed Blue - imago - Thatcham - 04-Sep-08 (5)

Photo © Pete Eeles
04-Sep-2008

Photo Album (23 photos) ...


Ovum

Description to be completed.

Cupido argiades - Ovae in Trifolium pratense inflorescence [Wolfgang Wagner]

Photo © Wolfgang Wagner
www.pyrgus.de

Photo Album (1 photos) ...


Larva

Description to be completed.

The primary larval foodplants are Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Lucerne (Medicago sativa), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca).

1st Instar

Description to be completed.

2nd Instar

Description to be completed.

3rd Instar

Description to be completed.

4th Instar

Description to be completed.

5th Instar

Description to be completed.

Short-Tailed Blue - larva - Thatcham - 29-Oct-09 (2) {REARED}

Photo © Pete Eeles
29-Oct-2009

Short-Tailed Blue - larva - Thatcham - 29-Oct-09 (1) {REARED}

Photo © Pete Eeles
29-Oct-2009

Short-tailed Blue - larva - Thatcham - 19-Oct-10 (1) {REARED}

Photo © Pete Eeles
19-Oct-2010

Short-tailed Blue - larva - Thatcham - 19-Oct-10 (2) {REARED}

Photo © Pete Eeles
19-Oct-2010

Photo Album (4 photos) ...


Pupa

Description to be completed.

Short-Tailed Blue - pupa - Thatcham - 28-Aug-08 (1) {REARED}

Photo © Pete Eeles
28-Aug-2008

Short-Tailed Blue - pupa - Thatcham - 11-Jul-10 (1) [REARED]

Photo © Pete Eeles

Photo Album (2 photos) ...


Aberrations

Description to be completed.

Click here to see the aberration descriptions and images for this species.

Similar Species

No similar species found.

Videos


Watch Video

The following links provide additional information on this butterfly.

References

The species description provided here references the following publications:

ReferenceDetails
Hübner (1819) Hübner, J. (1819) Verzeichniss bekannter Schmettlinge.
Kirby (1896) Kirby, W.F. (1896) A Hand-Book to the Order Lepidoptera.
Leach (1815) Leach (1815) In Brewster: The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia.
Newman & Leeds (1913) Newman, L.W. and Leeds, H.A. (1913) Text Book of British Butterflies and Moths.
Pallas (1771) Pallas, P.S. (1771) Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des russischen Reichs.
Schrank (1801) Schrank, F. (1801) Fauna boica. Durchgedachte Geschichte der in Baiern einheimschen und zahmen Thiere.
South (1906) South, R. (1906) The Butterflies Of The British Isles.
Swainson (1827) Swainson, W. (1827) A Sketch of the Natural Affinities of the Lepidoptera Diurna of Latreille. The Philosophical magazine : or Annals of chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, natural history and general science.