- Subfamily: Polyommatinae - Polyommatini
- Wingspan: 15-27 mm
- Flight period: Mar - Nov
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Cultivated Pelanorgium (geranium) Geranium sanguineum
Better known as Lycenid of geraniums or Geranium Bronze, the Cacyreus marshalli it is a small butterfly native to southern Africa (South Africa, Mozambique),
which due to the rise in the earth's temperature, and the intense trade exchanges with African countries, has now moved towards the northern latitudes, reaching the Italian peninsula.
It appeared for the first time in Europe, and more precisely in Spain (Majorca island) in 1990 following the importation of geraniums from South Africa which contained eggs or larvae of the species, the presence was confirmed by the Plant Protection Service of Catalonia in 1990 *.
The Cacyreus marshalli then reproduced rapidly, first invading the Balearic Islands and then the continental part of Spain. The first specimens were sighted in Italy in 1996.
In adults, the wingspan is 15 - 23 mm in males and 18 - 27 mm in females.
The color of the wing is bronze brown on the upper side, the rear wing is provided with a tail. The lower pages of the wing are in irregular bands of brown and cream white; has fringes of the wings white and brown checkered.
Polyvoltine species flies from March to November with a lively flight, it gladly frequents the gardens and the flowered flower beds, but also the shrubs and the edges of the woods; in flight it has a characteristic dark red reflection.
The larva , varying in color from yellow to green, often with 1 or 2 dorsal lilac-colored stripes, is covered by a thick down. It varies in size from 1–2 mm (1st larval stage) to 13 mm (4th stage, complete development). The chrysalis about 9 mm long, varying in color from green, with or without lilac stripes, to dark brown.
Host plants: Cultivated pelargonium (geranium), Geranium sanguineum.
*A. Masò e V. Sarto I Monteyes,Confirmación de Cacyreus marshalli Butler, 1898 (Lycaenidae, Polyommatinae) como nueva especie para la fauna europea, «Boletín de sanidad vegetal. Plagas», 17 (1991), 173-183
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/