Species index

Osiris Blue

(Cupido osiris)

 

 Male 06/05/14 Var (83)

 Male 06/05/14 Var (83)

Female 24/05/05 Var (83)

Female 24/05/05 Var (83)

 Female 24/05/05 Var (83)

 Female 09/05/06 Var (83)

The Osiris Blue is an uncommon butterfly which most resembles, from the underside view at least, the Small Blue (Cupido minimus) and the Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus). Sizewise, in reality I found it to be midway between these species and the underside ground colour is grey, not pale olive-brown like semiargus. At the first location in the Var in 2005 we first found a couple of tired males and identification was difficult until we spent some time following and observing the female in these photographs. She was a rather dark brown with definite blue scaling at the wing base......only the female of Green-underside Blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) looks anything like this from the upperside in my current experience. I noticed she was settling almost exclusively on a low growing sainfoin Onobrychis supina and she was laying her eggs into the spiky flower heads. Occasionally she would settle on a nearby plant to bask for a moment before searching out more sainfoins. This demonstrates how a little knowledge of larval foodplants can go a long way in identifying unusual or difficult species. In 2006 at a different site we found an entirely brown female. Fresh males are a giveaway theoretically as their blue uppersides combined with the underside pattern is unmistakable, as illustrated in the photos from 2014.

Species index