Spialia phlomidis (Herrich-Schäffer, 1845)

Spialia phlomidis: Upper side (e.l. Florina, N-Greece, larva in May 2008) [S] Spialia phlomidis: Lower side (e.l. Florina 2008) [S] Spialia phlomidis: Portrait [S] Spialia phlomidis: Ovum [N] Spialia phlomidis: Ovum [N] Spialia phlomidis: L1-larva [S] Spialia phlomidis: L2-larva [S] Spialia phlomidis: L3-larva [S] Spialia phlomidis: L4-larva (Florina, N-Greece, May 2008) [M] Spialia phlomidis: Larva near the last moult (Florina, May 2008) [M] Spialia phlomidis: Larva after the last moult (e.l. Florina 2008) [S] Spialia phlomidis: Fully-grown larva (e.l. Florina 2008) [S] Spialia phlomidis: Pupa dorsal (e.l. Florina 2008) [S] Spialia phlomidis: Pupa ventral (e.l. Florina 2008) [S] Spialia phlomidis: Habitat in N-Greece, where also Pyrgus cinarae, P. serratulae and P. sidae occur [N] Spialia phlomidis: Habitat in the May (Florina, Vatochori) [N]

Host plants:
The species feeds on Convolvulus species of dry, often rocky slopes. I found eggs and caterpillars on Convolvulus lineatus (Greece).

Spialia phlomidis inhabits open, hot dry steppe habitats, rocky slopes, grasslands and pastures.

Life cycle:
I observed eggs and oviposition in the area of the Prespa lakes in Northern Greece in mid-July 2007. The half-grown caterpillar (L3) should hibernate. According to literature, Spialia phlomidis flies in late May and in June. Larvae which I observed in the first week of May 2008 were mostly in penultimate instar and lived in shelters at the ground. Spialia phlomidis has thus only a single generation at least in this area (1000m asl) with butterflies from mid-June to late July.

Endangerment factors:
Spialia phlomidis is increasingly endangered due to cultivation of the habitats (agriculture), but also due to construction of solar parks, overgrazing and abandonment.

Spialia phlomidis occurs in Europe only in the extreme southeast (southern Albania to Greece, southern Bulgaria and Turkey). The steppe species is also found in parts of Southwestern Asia.

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