N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Lycaena phlaeas (Linné, 1761)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Papilio phlaeas Linnaeus, 1761: 285.
Type locality: Westmanniae (Vaestmanland, Sweden)
Type: not designated

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
aestivus Zeller, 1847, Isis von Oken 1847 (1): 39
caeruleopunctata Krulikovskii, 1893, Soc. ent 7: 164
eleus Fabricius, 1798, Ent. Syst. Suppl.: 430
timeus Cramer, 1777, Uitl. Kap 2 (16): 137
turcicus Gerhard, 1853, Vers. monog. europ. Schmett.: 5
ssp. polaris Courvoisier, 1911, Ent. Zeit. 24: 262
ssp. phlaeoides Staudinger, 1901, Cat. Lep. Palae. Faun. (3rd ed): 74
ssp. shima Gabriel, 1954, Exped. SW Arabia 1937-1938 1: 388
ssp. chinensis Felder, 1862, Verh. zool. Ges. Wien 12: 488
ssp. abbottii Holland, 1892. Entomologist Suppl. 25: 90 (89-95).
ssp. ethiopica Poulton, 1922. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London 1921: 86 (81-86).
ssp. pseudophlaeas Lucas, 1866. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (4) 5: 499 (499-500).
ssp. hypophlaeas Boisduval, 1852. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (2)10(2): 291, no. 23.


The distribution of the species reaches from Madeira and the Canary Islands, through North and sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia), Arabia, Europe and temperate Asia to Japan and the northeastern part of North America. Vertically, the species occurs from sea Level to 2400 m in Europe, 2700 m in NW-Africa and even more than 3700 m in central Asia.


The hindwing underside is grey-brown to yellow-orange with dark small dots and a more or less distinct orange-red submarginal band (Bozano & Weidenhoffer 2001). This submarginal band is absent on the hindwing upper- as well as the underside of the otherwise very similar Lycaena sichuanica Bozano & Weidenhoffer, 2001.

Worth knowing:


Bozano, G. C. & Z. Weidenhoffer 2001. Guide to the Butterflies of the Palaearctic Region. Lycaenidae I, Subfamily Lycaeninae. Omnesa Artes, Milano, 62 pp.
Higgins, L. (1975): The Classification of European Butterflies, Collins, London
Linnaeus, C. (1761): Fauna Suecica (2.Ausgabe), 578 pp. Stockholm
Tolman T. & R. Lewington (1998): Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, übersetzt von M. Nuß, Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co., Stuttgart

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2011.03.02
Kurz Michael: 2016.09.19
Kurz Michael: 2016.09.20
Kurz Michael: 2016.09.21
not reviewed