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This butterfly possesses a pair of antennae-like "tails", together with an eye spot where the tails meet the wings. These act to divert a predator, such as a bird, away from the essential body parts. When at rest, the butterfly will rotate the hindwings which causes the tails to move, diverting predators from the more-important parts of the body. On the upperside males are pale blue with narrow dark borders. Females are dark earthy brown, with a slight flush of pale blue scales at the base of the wings. The pattern on the underside is unique, so this species is unlikely to be confused with any other. The adult butterfly has a jerky and rapid flight that is very similar to a hairstreak, but flies closer to the ground. Despite its small size and apparent fragility it is strongly migratory, able to cross seas, oceans and low mountain ranges with relative ease.
Alpine meadow. Parque Nacional de Sierra de Guadarrama. Peñalara
This butterfly is considered a pest of pea crops, one of the larval foodplants, causing considerable damage.
Spotted on Jul 23, 2015
Submitted on Sep 24, 2015