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Celastrina (Celastrina) argiolus

(Linneaus, 1758)

  • Subfamily: Polyommatinae - Polyommatini
  • Wingspan: 23-30 mm
  • Flight period: Mar - Aug
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Hederea helix, Rubus, Rhamnus, Cornus sanguinea ...


Also called Holly blue, the Celastrina argiolus is a small moth of the Lycaenidae family (wingspan 23 - 30 mm) distributed throughout Europe.
In addition to Europe, its range also includes Asia and North America.
in Italy it is also present in the islands. *

It is a butterfly with evident sexual dimorphism. Males with blue-violet wings above and thin black margins, females instead have darker edges of wings which are more extended than males
The lower pages of the wings are light blue gray with small black ocelli sometimes evanescent and blue-green basal area. **

With a lively flight, it often remains perched among and on the fronds of bushes and trees.
It is a bivoltine or trivoltine species with flickering from March to August. The eggs are laid in spring mostly on holly, while in summer on ivy.
Common in Italy, from the plain to 1500 m .; in the north east of Italy it is easily observed near hedges and wooded clearings.

The caterpillars are green at times with yellowish tones, dorsally they have a series of reddish triangular designs. **
They give rise to phenomena of symbiosis with ants of gen. Lasius.

The pupae of the second deposition are wintering. There are many host plants including Hederea helix, Rubus, Rhamnus, Cornus sanguinea, Ilex Aquifolium, Frangula alnus, Evonymus europaeus, Erica, Calluna vulgaris.

Celastrina argiolus
Celastrina argiolus
Celastrina argiolus
Celastrina argiolus
Celastrina argiolus
Celastrina argiolus
Celastrina argiolus