Vacciniina optilete (Knoch, 1781)

Vacciniina optilete: Male [S] Vacciniina optilete: Male lower side [N] Vacciniina optilete: Female (Foto: Mario Peluso) [N] Vacciniina optilete: Female, lower side (Foto: Mario Peluso) Vacciniina optilete: Ovum (Photo: Mario Peluso) Vacciniina optilete: Habitat in a heath stage of a bog with much Vaccinium in southern Bavaria (October 2012) [N]

Host plants:
The caterpillars feed on Ericaceae such as Vaccinium uliginosum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Andromeda, Oxycoccus etc.

In the lowlands Vacciniina optilete usually inhabits bogs, often accompanied by Colias palaeno. In the higher mountains, e.g. in the central Alps, it is found in acidophilous dwarf shrub belts (often also with Colias palaeno), where it can be a bit more numerous.

Life cycle:
Vacciniina optilete hibernates as young caterpillar and flies in a single generation in June/July.

Endangerment: threatened with extinction

Endangerment factors:
In the lowlands, Vacciniina optilete is highly threatened by intervening in the last bogs such as eutrophication and succession after partial dewatering. In the central Alps and Scandinavia, the endangerment is much less severe, even if many populations are decimated through development measures for the exuberant tourism (skiing!).

Vacciniina optilete may be also threatened by global warming.

Vacciniina optilete shows an holarctic distribution (Europe, cooler parts of Asia to Japan, local in North America). In Europe, Vacciniina optilete occurs especially in the central (e.g. Alps) and northern part (Scandinavia).