Mazarine Blue (Polyommatus semiargus)

The Mazarine Blue (Polyommatus semiargus) is a species of butterfly belonging to the family Lycaenidae. It is distributed across Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. This butterfly is named for the striking blue coloration found on the upper side of the male’s wings.

Here are some key characteristics of the Mazarine Blue:

  1. Appearance: The upper side of the male Mazarine Blue’s wings is a vibrant blue with a thin black border. Females typically have brown wings with blue markings, but they can occasionally display a bluish hue as well. Both genders have small black spots encircled by white on the wings.
  2. Habitat: Mazarine Blues inhabit a variety of open habitats, including grasslands, meadows, and woodland clearings. They prefer areas with abundant flowering plants, especially those belonging to the pea family (Fabaceae), which serve as nectar sources for adults and host plants for caterpillars.
  3. Life Cycle: Like other butterflies, the Mazarine Blue undergoes complete metamorphosis, consisting of four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and adult. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of specific host plants, often various species of vetches (Vicia) and clovers (Trifolium).
  4. Flight Period: Depending on the location and climate, the flight period of the Mazarine Blue typically occurs from late spring to early autumn, with adults emerging from pupae during this time.
  5. Conservation: The conservation status of the Mazarine Blue varies across its range. While it is widespread and locally common in many areas, populations may face threats from habitat loss, agricultural intensification, and climate change in certain regions. Conservation efforts such as habitat preservation and restoration play a crucial role in ensuring the continued survival of this species.

Overall, the Mazarine Blue is a beautiful butterfly species that contributes to the biodiversity of the ecosystems it inhabits. Its presence also makes it a subject of interest for butterfly enthusiasts and conservationists alike.

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