The Meleager’s Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus daphnis versicolor) is an insect in the Lycaenidae family of blue butterflies.
The male and female Meleager’s Blue Butterfly look different. The wings of the male are iridescent bright sky-blue on the upperside and grey-bluish on the underside – with blue at the base. The wings of the female are blue bordered with dark-brown on the upperside and pale brown on the underside. The undersides of the wings are dotted with small black spots encircled by white. The hind (back) wings are scalloped, especially in the females. The body is buff-coloured and hairy. Its antennae are segmented and clubbed at the tip.
It has a wingspan of about 4 centimetres (1.5 inches).
It is a subspecies of the Meleager’s Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus daphnis) which is found in eastern and southern Europe, the Balkans, Middle East, Caucasus, and western Asia. The subspecies (Polyommatus daphnis versicolor) is found in the Caucasus.
It prefers grassy areas, bushlands, clearings in scrublands, and flowery meadows. The adult butterfly is seen from June to August.
The life cycle of the Meleager’s Blue Butterfly is egg, larva (caterpillar), chrysalis, and adult. The female has an ovipositor, which she uses to lay eggs on leaves. The eggs hatch after about 8-14 days into caterpillars that feed on leaves. The caterpillar forms a casing called a chrysalis. When the adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis after about 14 days, it feeds on plant nectar with its proboscis (long curly nose).
The life span of an adult Meleager’s Blue Butterfly is 3 weeks.
Location of photographs: Tbilisi, Georgia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM