Lepidoptera The Tailed Blue Butterfly – Lycana Batica

We now come to a genus containing no less than ten species of beautiful little butterflies, known commonly as the ‘Blues;’ but one of them exhibits no trace of the colour so characteristic of the group, although it resembles the others in structure and habits.

Butterfly Image The Tailed Blue. Fig. 87.-The Tailed Blue-Under Side.

Our first example is the Tailed Blue, known also as the Pea-pod Argus. The upper side of this insect (Butterflies PhotoPlate VI, fig. 10) is of a dull smoke colour, exhibiting purple-blue reflections, which are, in the female, confined to distinct blotches on the bases of the wings, but in the male are less noticeable, and extend over the whole surface. The hind margin of the hind wings has a row of spots, more or less distinct, and much more prominent in the female than in the male. The under side is beautifully marked with bands of fawn and grey, and with two spots of brilliant metallic green in the anal angle of the hind wings.

This butterfly abounds in the countries of South Europe, where the caterpillar feeds on the pods of certain leguminous plants; but only a few stragglers have been taken in England, so that its reputation as a true Britisher is very uncertain. It is highly probable that the two or three specimens caught on our south coast were blown over from the Continent, and that the insect has never bred on this side of the Channel.