Kretania psylorita (endemic) - photo © L.N. Pamperis

Kretania psylorita (endemic) - photo © L.N. Pamperis

Kretania psylorita


Kretania psylorita is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Kretania psylorita (Freyer, 1845)

Common name

Cretan Argus


Male to female: 25-30 mm


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


This butterfly has a rather dull appearance; upperside it is colored brown with grey shades and several orange marks in the submarginal area (larger in females).

The underside of the wings has a light brown-grey color with golden reflections. There are several quite small black marks in the postdiscal area and fainted orange ones in the submarginal area.

Male and female are generally similar.


When the butterfly settles on the ground, it is hardly noticeable, especially with its wings closed. It flies rapidly, close to the ground, and can be spotted flying around its larval foodplants.


The butterfly can be found in two high mountains of Crete (950-2,150 m), in extremely rocky places and dry slopes with almost no vegetation, such as sclerophyllous scrub and phrygana.


The larva feeds on Fabaceae (Astragalus) plants.

Flight Period

Kretania psylorita in Crete flies in one generation 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 butterflies of the island.


Least Concern (LC) (*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)

Its population hasn’t declined by more than 25% in the last 10 years before 2013. But this species occurs in a number of protected areas across its range. No specific conservation actions are needed, but since it has a restricted global range, distribution and trend of Kretania psylorita should be monitored closely.

Kretania Psylorita Distribution Map

*based on

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