Common blue Polyommatus icarus, photographed by Ernst Vikne.

Belongs within: Polyommatini.

Polyommatus is a large genus of blue butterflies found throughout the Old World. The common blue Polyommatus icarus has also been been introduced to North America, first being recorded in Canada in the early 2000s.

Characters (from Bingham 1907): Fore wing with costa very slightly arched, nearly straight; apex well-marked but not acute; termen convex; tornus obtuse; dorsum straight; cell not quite half length of wing; veins 6 and 7 closely approximate almost from a point; middle and lower discocellulars attenuate; vein 8 absent, vein 9 from middle of vein 7, veins 10 and 11 from apical half of subcostal; vein 12 bent towards vein 1l, very close, touching but not anastomosed; vein 12 long, terminates on costa opposite apex of cell. Hind wing with costa slightly arched; apex rounded; termen rather straight especially in the female, in the male slightly convex; tornus well-marked, angulate, dorsum rather long; cell very short, not nearly half length of wing; middle and lower discocellulars attenuate; veins 3 and 4 from lower apex of cell, vein 7 from only a little before upper apex of cell; vein 8 strongly arched at base, terminating on costal margin well before apex of wing. Antenna short, not quite half length of fore wing, club long and gradual, pointed at apex; eyes hairy; palpi porrect or subporrect, fringed anteriorly; third joint rather short, bare, aciculate; body comparatively robust. Male with sex-mark: fore and hind wings thickly overlaid with hair-like scales that give a frosted appearance to the upperside; underside of fore wing with a patch of specialized scales at bases of interspaces 2 and 3.

<==Polyommatus Latreille 1804 BH07
    |--*P. icarus (Rottemburg 1775) [=Papilio icarus] BH07
    |--P. admetus (Esper 1782) BH07
    |--P. amanda (Schneider 1792) BH07
    |--P. amphidamas P01
    |--P. ariana (Moore 1865) BH07
    |--P. bellargus (Rottemburg 1775) BH07
    |--P. coridon (Poda 1761) BH07
    |--P. damon (Denis & Schiffermüller 1775) BH07
    |--P. daphnis (Denis & Schiffermüller 1775) BH07
    |--P. dorylas (Denis & Schiffermüller 1775) BH07
    |--P. eroides (Frivaldszky 1835) BH07
    |--P. eros (Ochsenheimer 1808) BH07
    |--P. erotides (Staudinger 1894) BH07
    |--P. mauritanicus Lucas 1849 E12
    |--P. phlaeas [incl. P. phlaeas var. eleus] P01
    |--P. polonus (Zeller 1848) BH07
    |--P. poseidon (Herrich-Schäffer 1851) BH07
    |--P. rutilus P01
    |--P. stoliczkanus BH07
    |--P. thersites (Cantener 1834) BH07
    `--P. virgaureae [incl. P. virgaureae var. oranula] P01

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BH07] Bálint, Z., Z. E. Horváth, K. Kertész, Z. Vértesy & L. P. Biró. 2007. Observations on scale structures and spectroscopic properties of Polyommatus lycaenid butterflies (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 99: 115–127.

Bingham, C. T. 1907. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Butterflies vol. 2. Taylor and Francis: London.

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[P01] Pável, J. 1901. Lepkék [Lepidopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 171–177. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

Last updated: 18 August 2017.

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