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Scolitantides orion

(Pallas, 1771)

  • Subfamily: Polyommatinae - Polyommatini
  • Wingspan: 13-16 mm
  • Flight period: May-Aug
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Sedum sp.


The Scolitantides orion also called Chequered Blue is a small butterfly of the Lycaenidae family, with a wingspan of about 13-16 mm.
It is widespread in Europe (more present in the south), in Russia and in the east between the Palearctic ecozone and Japan. In Europe it is absent from Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Benelux and Denmark, in Italy it is absent from the islands. *

It is the only representative of the genus Scolitantides (Hübner, 1819) and is easily recognizable. To be a member of the Polyommatinae subfamily, it has the upper side of the wings not very lively , with the usual bright blue typical of the males of this subfamily, limited to some areas of the upper page of the front wing, but with a very bright and distinctive underside. **
The female but is similar to the male on the lower page, while the upper page is brown-black with only a splash of blue scales, which in some cases may be preponderant leaving the barrier of sexual dimorphism very weak. **

The background color of the underside of the male generally appears to be pure white, while the female appears to have a slight yellowish tinge.

Univoltina in the northern areas has a rather early flight season, in fact it has flickers ranging from mid-May to June. In southern Europe, in a lot of areas it has a second generation which runs from July to August.

The Scolitantides orion lives in rocky slopes, stone walls, bushes, rocky grasslands, edges of wooded land and embankments, secondly also vineyards in any case rocky areas where it is present the feeding plain from 0 up to 1000 m.

The larva feeds on various species of Sedum.

* Lepidoptera mundi -
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -

Scolitantides orion