Freyeria trochylus - photo © Sofia Apergi

Freyeria trochylus, Attica - photo © Sofia Apergi

Freyeria trochylus

BUTTERFLY INFO

Freyeria trochylus is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Freyeria trochylus (Freyer, 1845)

Common name

Grass Jewel

Classification

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

Wingspan

Male to female: 16-20 mm

Appearance

Males and females have a similar appearance. The butterfly has a dull brown color upper side and a light brown-grey underside.

On the hindwing, upperside there are orange and black marks in the postdiscal area and several small black marks in the underside basal area. There are also several white spots spread all over the underside of the hindwing.

Behavior

It flies low to the ground with very short flights. The butterfly is so small, almost invisible.

Habitat

Freyeria trochylus in Crete lives in hot, rocky areas, light shrubland, seaside, and wet clearings.

Food plant

The larva feeds on Euphorbiaceae (Andrachne telephioides), Boraginaceae (Heliotropium) plants.

Flight Period

The butterfly flies in 2-3 generations per year.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Remarks

It is the smallest butterfly in Greece. Grass Jewel has a unique appearance in Crete due to its petit size and can’t be confused with other butterflies of the island. It has a limited distribution on the island.

Status*

Least Concern (LC)

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)

Freyeria Trochylus Distribution Map

*based on http://www.pamperis.gr/THE_BUTTERFLIES_OF_GREECE/MAPS.html

Freyeria trochylus location map based on greek butterflies distributions maps by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)

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