Lycaena tityrus (Poda, 1761)


Lycaena tityrus: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Söhnstetten, August 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, Söhnstetten, August 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Male (NE-Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Müritz, late May 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (NE-Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Müritz, late May 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (NE-Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Müritz, late May 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (NE-Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Müritz, late May 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (Abruzzes, L Lycaena tityrus: Female (Abruzzes, L Lycaena tityrus: Male (Ticino) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Male [N] Lycaena tityrus: Male (Schnalstal, South Tyrol, 2000m above sea level, late June 2011) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Male (Northern Greece, 1500m above sea level, July 2010) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Male (Schnalstal, South Tyrol, 2000m above sea level, late June 2011) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Adult (Northern Greece, July 2010) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (Olympus, early August 2012) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (Olympus, early August 2012) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (Olympus, Greece, early August 2012) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female (Olympus, early August 2012) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Female [S] Lycaena tityrus: Female (Ticino) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Lower side [S] Lycaena tityrus: Mating [N] Lycaena tityrus: Lower side [N] Lycaena tityrus: Ovae [S] Lycaena tityrus: Ovum (Northern Greece, July 2010) [M] Lycaena tityrus: Larva [S] Lycaena tityrus: Pupa [S] Lycaena tityrus: Pupa, lateral [S] Lycaena tityrus: Habitat in a sandy, extensively managed grassland in NE-Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Müritz, May 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Habitat in an aisle in a sandy pine forest (NE-Germany, Müritz, late May 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Habitat along a sandy railway embankment (NE-Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, late May 2013) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Place of larval observation: Rumex crispus (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany in a partially superficially acidic grassland with Rumex acetosa (July 2011) [N] Lycaena tityrus: Habitat in the Olympus region (early August 2012) [N]

Host plants:
The larva feeds on Rumex acetosa and R. acetosella, possibly also other Rumex species (especially in the Alps). In the Swabian Alb, I observed a young caterpillar on the edge of a nutrient-poor grassland at Rumex crispus, which grew singly on the bare ground (1. March 2007). However, Rumex acetosa is the main host plant also in this area.

Habitat:
Lycaena tityrus inhabits extensively managed open landscape from juniper heathland to alpine meadows and fens. In the lowlands it has already been pushed back to extensive islands. In the Swabian Alb, Lycaena tityrus occurs especially in superficially acidophilous grasslands with Calluna and Rumex acetosa. Lycaena tityrus tolerates up to twice mowing and only extensive grazing.

Life cycle:
Lycaena tityrus flies in two, maybe locally three generations per year. In Central Europe it occurs from May to early July and from late July to early September. The caterpillar overwinters half-grown.

Endangerment: endangered

Endangerment factors:
Lycaena tityrus has lost as former common meadow species approximately 90% of its sites in Central Europe (especially due to agricultural intensification). But it benefits somewhat from the global warming.

Remarks:
The total distribution ranges from Northern Spain across large parts of Europe and Asia to the Altai.



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