Celastrina argiolus - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Celastrina argiolus, Crete - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Celastrina argiolus


Celastrina argiolus is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Celastrina argiolus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common name

Holly Blue


Family: Lycaenidae > Subfamily: Polyommatinae > Tribus: Polyommatini > Genus: Celastrina


Male to female: 30-35 mm


It is a small blue butterfly when seen with open wings and pale grey-blue or silver-blue with small black spots underwing.

The female differs from the male; it has both wings broadly black-bordered, and the margin of the hindwing bears vestiges of ocelli.


The butterfly flies very fast and rarely opens the wings when still. It is usually observed to fly high rather than low to the ground.


Celastrina argiolus in Crete can be found in olive groves, vineyards, small clearings, mixed forests, and scrub.

Food plant

The larva feeds on Ericaceae, Araliaceae (Hedera helix ssp helix), Rhamnaceae, and Rosaceae (Rubus sanctus).

Flight Period

The butterfly flies in at least 2 generations per year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

The butterfly has a unique appearance in Crete and can’t be confused with other Lycaenidae species of the island.


Least Concern

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)