Leptodes pirithous - photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Leptodes pirithous, Crete - photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Leptotes pirithous


Leptotes pirithous is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Leptotes pirithous (Linnaeus, 1767)

Common name

Lang’s Short-tailed Blue


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


Male to female: 20-25 mm

On the upper side of the wings, the males have blue color with a thin brown band in the submarginal area, while the females appear to be dark brown colored with blue shades in basal and discal areas.
The underside of the wings is light brown and adorned with several small white bands forming a characteristic pattern. Beside each tail, on each hindwing, there is a pair of small eye spots surrounded by orange-green reflections.
Both sexes have the same appearance on the underside of the wings.

It has a fast flight, low to the ground.


Leptotes pirithous in Crete live in open land, wetlands, groups of trees with Fabaceae, dry riverbeds with ruderal vegetation, and agricultural land, seaside, and riverbanks.

Food plant

The larva feeds on Fabaceae (e.g. Medicago sativa, Spartium junceum) plants.

Flight Period

The butterfly flies in at least 2 generations per year.

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

Lang’s short-tailed Blue could be possibly confused with Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), but there are significant differences in fingerprint patterns on the underside of the wings. Additionally, Lampides boeticus is larger than Leptotes pirithous.


Least Concern (LC)

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)

Leptotes Pirithous Distribution Map

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

map based on greek butterflies distributions map by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)