Turquoise Blue (Polyommatus dorylas)
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2018 photographs highlighted in green. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.
An exquisite butterfly, rarely encountered (by me) in more than ones and twos, although not uncommon at medium altitudes. Apart from the distinctive and dazzling male upperside colour, the male dorylas can be differentiated from many similar-sized blues by the black borders which extend inward along the veins. The underside is also quite variable and distinctive because of the large black spots on the unf combined with the very faint, often white, unf marginal marks with pale orange (more or less) heart-shaped unh submarginal marks.
It seems to occur mostly at altitudes above 750m, even as high as 2000m. It can easily be missed because it is superficially similar to the Common Blue (P. icarus).
This species is referred to as Plebicula dorylas in T&L, but is now classified as a member of the Polyommatus genus.
a male, showing the gleaming turquoise-blue and the black margins extending into the veins.
|26131||M||a male, this shot probably captures the pale gleaming blue of dorylas better than 17915.||1400|
|32507||M||a male, the blue colour being a little deeper than usual.||1080|
|39167||M||a male from the Hautes-Pyrénées, the turquoise colour being very clear. It was a little larger than those I usually see in south-eastern France.||1600|
a female, the upperside of 7152. Typical dorylas, 7159 is very fresh with a nice strong clean brown ground colour, setting off the orange lunules.
|26126||M||classic dorylas, a rather clean, constant pale grey ground colour and unf margins almost pure white.||1400|
a male taking salts (puddling), the characteristic marginal white band on both wings is a sure indicator of dorylas. It took the sharp eyes of Tim Cowles to spot that 12572 has a unf cell spot, small and just visible, just to demonstrate that statements in books that dorylas does not have a cell spot are not true 100% of the time, although this is a rarity.
dorylas often has a smudgy unclean feel to it, especially the unf, as illustrated here. The orange lunules are usually more distinct and heart-shaped than 16431 or 12572.
a fairly typical male underside, with quite pale orange lunules not quite heart-shaped.
|45428||M||another example of the rather indistinct underside markings, even though 45428 was not aged.||1120|
a delicately marked female, with a warm uns pale grey-brown ground colour. The unf post-discal spots (just visible) are unusually very large, almost touching the lunules in s3-5. The orange submarginal lunules are quite distinctly heart-shaped, even to the forewing costa.
a dark female (c.f. 2857) with the commonly-found smudgy feel to the unf margins. The unf post-discal series of black spots, usually large in dorylas, seem exceptionally large here, with slight aberrations of additional spots. The heart-shape of the unh orange lunules is more apparent here, especially in s2.
|39979||PAIR||a mating pair, the female on the left. The male is in quite good condition compared to many males seen in copula.||920|