Maculinea arion (Linnaeus, 1758)

Synonyms/other combinations:
Glaucopsyche arion
Phengaris arion

Maculinea arion: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, Heidenheim, July 2011) [N] Maculinea arion: Male (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, Heidenheim, July 2011) [N] Maculinea arion: Male [N] Maculinea arion: Adult at Onobrychis,a popular nectar plant for this species (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, July 2010) [N] Maculinea arion: Female (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, July 2010) [N] Maculinea arion: Lower side [N] Maculinea arion: Oviposition (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) at Origanum [N] Maculinea arion: Oviposition at Origanum vulgare (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, July 2010) [N] Maculinea arion: Female (S-Germany, Allgaeu Alps, Hinterstein, 1400m asl, June 2014) [N] Maculinea arion: Oviposition (S-Germany, Allgaeu Alps, Hinterstein, 1400m asl, June 2014) [N] Maculinea arion: Male (Northern Greece, Vitsi N Kastoria, late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Male (N-Greece, Vitsi N Kastoria, 1700m asl, late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Male (N-Greece, Mount Vitsi N Kastoria, late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Female (Northern Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Female (N-Greece, Vitsi, late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Female (N-Greece, Vitsi N Kastoria, late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Female (N-Greece, Mount Vitsi N Kastoria, late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Oviposition (N-Greece, Vitsi N Kastoria, late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Egg on Thymus (S-Germany, Allgaeu Alps, Hinterstein, 1400m asl, June 2014) [M] Maculinea arion: Habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb (July 2011): flowery, large limestone grassland with Thymus and Origanum [N] Maculinea arion: Habitat on Mount Vitsi in N-Greece (late June 2013) [N] Maculinea arion: Habitat (Allgaeu, Hinterstein, 1400m asl, June 2014) [N]

Host plants:
The eggs are laid on Thymus species and Origanum vulgare where the young caterpillars live. Later, the caterpillar lives in ant nests (Myrmica sabuleti), where they also hibernate.

Habitat:
Maculinea arion inhabits nutrient-poor, dry and sunny grasslands with occurrence of larval host plants and the host ants.

Life cycle:
Maculinea arion flies in a single generation from mid-June to August, mostly in July. The adults like to feed on sainfoin (Onobrychis), but also on the flowers of the larval host plant.

Endangerment: strongly endangered

Endangerment factors:
In the lowlands, Maculinea arion is threatened by grazing abandonment and loss of habitat. The butterfly is still present in many grasslands of the Swabian Alb, but the abundances have declined in recent years. In the Alps (also in Bavaria), Maculinea arion is still fairly widespread.

Remarks:
Maculinea arion is distributed locally in Europe and temperate Asia to the Pacific. In Europe it is extinct in the UK and in Southern Europe spread only very local in the higher mountains. Maculinea arion is more common in the Alps (mainly on limestone).



Maculinea alcon | Maculinea nausithous | Maculinea rebeli | Maculinea teleius