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

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

Kretania psylorita

BUTTERFLY INFO

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

Wingspan

Male to female: 25-30 mm

Classification

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

Appearance

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.

Behavior

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.

Habitat

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.

Foodplant

The larva feeds on Fabaceae (Astragalus) plants.

Flight Period

Kretania psylorita in Crete flies in one generation per year.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Remarks

The butterfly has a unique appearance in Crete and can't be confused with other butterflies of the island.

Status*

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 http://www.pamperis.gr/THE_BUTTERFLIES_OF_GREECE/MAPS.html

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

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