Identify UK Lycaenid?

Roger Kendrick hkmoths at
Sat Aug 19 14:30:59 EDT 2000

Hi Keith,

After gazing for a few minutes at the plates in the
Moths & Butterflies of Great Britain & Ireland
(vol.7i) it seems that your photo is of Aricia
agestis. This species has been spreading to many open
habitats in the last decade, using doves-foot
cranesbill as an alternative host. The simplest
diagnostic characters separating this species from the
others you mention are as follows:
A.agestis & P.argus : lack f/w sub-basal dots (ventral
surface)found on P.icarus
A.agestis has white wedge on h/w ventral surface,
located medially to sub-terminally, roughly
equidistant between the apex and tornus. This is
absent in P.argus.

hope this helps,


Ph.D. candidate
Dept. Ecology & Biodiversity
The University of Hong Kong 

--- Keith Edkins <keith.edkins at>
wrote: > Can anybody give a definite identification of
> photos at
> My handbooks aren't really up to to distinguishing a
> female Silver-studded
> Blue (Plebejus argus) from a Brown Argus (Aricia
> agestis). Or given that
> these seem to be somewhat scarce and localised
> species (not local to
> Cambridge anyway), is it really a very brown female
> Common Blue (Polyommatus
> icarus)?
> Keith Edkins
> Cambidge

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