Lycaena phlaeas (Linnaeus, 1761)


Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (e.l. La Gomera 2006) [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (e.l. La Gomera 2006) [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (Sardinia, Buggeru, May 2012) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (Madeira, Encumeada, March 2013). I observed the larva in Madeira several times on Rumex maderensis. The adults are relative dark. [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Copulation (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Copulation (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Female (La Palma, Canaries, December 2010) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (Olympus, Greece, July 2010) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (Olympus, Greece, July 2010) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Female  [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Further upper side [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Lower side [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Lower side (e.l. La Gomera 2006) [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Adult (Olympus, Greece, July 2010) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Eggs (Olympus, Greece, July 2010) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Ovum [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Egg on Rumex vesicarius (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Half-grown larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva, form with more red [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva of the subspecies of the Canary Islands (La Gomera) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [M] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [M] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [M] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [M] Lycaena phlaeas: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [M] Lycaena phlaeas: Pupa [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Pupa prior to emergence [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Pupa (La Gomera) [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Pupa (e.l. La Gomera, February 2013). [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Pupa (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Lycaena phlaeas: Typical habitat in sandy environment: agricultural road with Rumex acetosella etc. (Germany, southern Brandenburg, September 2012) [N] Lycaena phlaeas: Larval habitat with Rumex vesicarius in La Gomera. Here also occurs Hippotion celerio (February 2013) [N]

Host plants:
The larva feeds on Rumex species, especially Rumex acetosella, but also Rumex scutatus, R. acetosa and others. Not infrequently they are also observed on non-acidic Rumex species such as Rumex crispus and R. obtusifolius. In the Canaries, the main host plant is often Rumex vesicarius, but the larva can be also observed on other Rumex species, but rarely on Rumex lunaria. I observed larvae on Rumex maderensis on Madeira.

Habitat:
Lycaena phlaeas inhabits open land of all kinds and is very widespread. It is especially common in acid sandy heaths with Rumex acetosella. Nowadays, Lycaena phlaeas is regionally pushed back to meager, extensively managed, small habitats and is only a migrant/vagrant in intensive manure fields.

Life cycle:
Lycaena phlaeas flies in several generations per year (2-4) and can be found from April to October, rarely also later (November). The half-grown caterpillar overwinters.

Endangerment: regionally endangered or decreasing

Endangerment factors:
Overall, Lycaena phlaeas can be described as not endangered, though the number of individuals has decreased because of agricultural intensification. In suitable habitats, such as locally dried-up areas in the Donaumoos (a fen in Southern Germany), it is still quite common. Lycaena phlaeas also benefits from global warming.

Remarks:
The total distribution is Holarctic: Canary Islands, Madeira, North Africa, Europe, temperate Asia and parts of North America.



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