Mazarine Blue

Cyaniris semiargus (sy-an-EYE-riss se-mee-AH-guss)

Mazarine Blue - imago - Bunderitsa Hut, Pirin, Bulgaria - 03-Jul-07 (1014)
Photo © Pete Eeles
 

Wingspan
Male: 32 - 36mm
Female: 34 - 38mm

Checklist Number
61.017

Family:LycaenidaeLeach, 1815
Subfamily:PolyommatinaeSwainson, 1827
Tribe:PolyommatiniSwainson, 1827
Genus:CyanirisDalman, 1816
Subgenus:  
Species:semiargus(Rottemburg, 1775)

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Introduction

Despite being widespread and fairly common on the continent, this butterfly is extinct in the British Isles. It was found in the southern half of England - although those found on the coast are assumed to be immigrants and those found inland are considered to be either accidental or deliberate introductions.

This species was first mentioned as British in 1710 and there are several hundred sightings recorded up until the late 19th century. Various dates are given for the last sighting, although all are linked with a particular region. The end of the 19th century seems to mark a watershed, after which there are very few records. This species is extinct in the British Isles. One possible cause of the extinction is changes to haymaking which resulted in clovers being inadvertently cut while this species was still in its immature stages.

Cyaniris semiargus

This species was first defined in Rottemburg (1775) as shown here (type locality: Germany).

Mazarine Blue - imago - Bunderitsa Hut, Pirin, Bulgaria - 03-Jul-07 (1015)

Male
Photo © Pete Eeles

Mazarine Blue underside, Parc du Mercantour, Alpes-Maritimes, France, 8th July 2014

Male Underside
Photo © David M

Mazerine Blue,female - Aggletek - Hungary - 17-June-09

Female
Photo © Denise

Mazarine Blue - imago - Switzerland - Jun-06 (3) [Guy Padfield]

Female Underside
Photo © Guy Padfield

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
1795Dark BlueLewin (1795)
1803Mazarine BlueHaworth (1803)

Conservation Status

No conservation action is relevant for this species.

Habitat

On the continent, this species can be one of the commonest species seen - and one that will turn up in any flowery meadow in southern and eastern Europe. It can also be found at both low and high altitude - up to 2000m. In all locations, it is considered to have one brood each year.

Distribution

1.1 Extinct
 

This species is extinct in the British Isles.

Life Cycle

There was one brood each year in the British Isles, with adults flying from mid-June through to mid-July.

Imago

It is believed that this species formed discrete colonies in the British Isles, as it does on the continent.

Description to be completed.

Cyaniris semiargus

Mazarine Blue - imago - Castelluccio, Italy - 18-Jun-08 (4)

Photo © Pete Eeles
18-Jun-2008

Mazarine Blue - imago - Dolomites, Italy - 01-Jul-08 [Jules Cross]

Photo © Jules Cross
01-Jul-2008

Mazarine Blue - imago - Monti Sibillini, Italy - 15-Jun-08 (3)

Photo © Pete Eeles
15-Jun-2008

Mazarine Blue - imago - Switzerland - Jul-05 [Guy Padfield]

Photo © Guy Padfield

Mazarine Blue, male - Aggletek - Hungary - 17-June-09

Photo © Denise

Mazarine Blue - imago - Bunderitsa Hut, Pirin, Bulgaria - 03-Jul-07 (1016)

Photo © Pete Eeles
03-Jul-2007

C. semiargus (male) SE Moravia (CZE) May 23 2009

Photo © traplican

Mazarine Blue mating

Photo © traplican

Mazarine Blue - imago - Gola del Infernaccio, Monti Sibillini, Italy - 16-Jun-08 (1)

Photo © Pete Eeles
16-Jun-2008

Mazarine Blue - imago - Bunderitsa Hut, Pirin, Bulgaria - 03-Jul-07 (1011)

Photo © Pete Eeles
03-Jul-2007

Mazarine Blue - imago - Switzerland - Jun-06 [Guy Padfield]

Photo © Guy Padfield

Mazarine Blue - imago - Gola del Infernaccio, Monti Sibillini, Italy - 16-Jun-08 (2)

Photo © Pete Eeles
16-Jun-2008

Mazarine Blue - Polyommatus (Cyaniris) semiargus Bulgaria - 5/6/15

Photo © andy brown

Mazarine Blue - imago - Monti Sibillini, Italy - 15-Jun-08 (2)

Photo © Pete Eeles
15-Jun-2008

Mazarine Blue - imago - Bunderitsa Hut, Pirin, Bulgaria - 03-Jul-07 (1014)

Photo © Pete Eeles
03-Jul-2007

Mazarine Blue - Nr. Le Lac Bleu - Meribel - France - 20/07/14

Photo © William
20-Jul-2014

C. semiargus (female) SE Moravia (CZE) Jun 13 2009

Photo © traplican

Mazarine Blue - imago - Bukk Hills, Hungary - 05-Jun-05 [Tim Norriss]

Photo © Tim Norriss

Mazarine Blue (female) Cantabria N Spain 2010

Photo © johnb
26-Jun-2010

Mazarine Blue - imago - Switzerland - Jun-06 (3) [Guy Padfield]

Photo © Guy Padfield

Photo Album ...


Ovum

Eggs are typically laid singly, deep in the flower heads of Red Clover. They resemble miniature sea urchins and are a pure white. The egg hatches after 1 or 2 weeks.

Mazarine Blue - ovum - Castelluccio, Italy - 18-Jun-08 (3)

Photo © Pete Eeles
23-Jun-2008

Mazarine Blue - ovum - Simplon Pass, Simplon, Switzerland - 12-Jul-11

Photo © Pete Eeles

Mazarine Blue - ovum - Simplon Pass, Simplon, Switzerland - 12-Jul-11-1

Photo © Pete Eeles

Photo Album ...


Larva

On emerging from the egg, the larva proceeds to feed within the flower heads of the foodplant. This species overwinters while still a young larva. The larva resumes feeding on shoots of clover the following spring.

The primary larval foodplant is Red Clover (Trifolium pratense).

Cyaniris semiargus - Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany 2011) [Wolfgang Wagner]

Photo © Wolfgang Wagner
www.pyrgus.de

Photo Album ...


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.

6th Instar

Description to be completed.

Pupa

This stage lasts approximately 3 weeks.

Cyaniris semiargus - Pupa [Wolfgang Wagner]

Photo © Wolfgang Wagner
www.pyrgus.de

Photo Album ...


Aberrations

Description to be completed.

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

Similar Species

No similar species found.

Videos

No videos are currently available for this species.

The following links provide additional information on this butterfly.

References

The species description provided here references the following publications:

ReferenceDetails
Dalman (1816) Dalman, J.W. (1816) Kongl. Svenska Vetenskaps akademiens Handlingar.
Haworth (1803) Haworth, A.H. (1803) Lepidoptera Britannica.
Leach (1815) Leach (1815) In Brewster: The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia.
Lewin (1795) Lewin, W. (1795) The Papilios of Great Britain.
Rottemburg (1775) von Rottemburg, S.A. (1775) Der Naturforscher.
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.