Zizeeria karsandra, Crete - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Zizeeria karsandra, Crete - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Zizeeria karsandra


Zizeeria karsandra is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Zizeeria karsandra (Moore, 1865)

Common name

Dark Grass Blue


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


Male to female: 15-20 mm


On the forewing, the upper side of the male is dark blue with a wide dark brown band in the submarginal area. The underside is light brown-grey colored with a black mark in the cell, a black mark at the end of the cell, and several black marks in the submarginal area forming a regular row. Both sides of the hindwing are similar to the forewing ones.

The female is usually larger than the male with brown colors on the upper side, but with extra dark blue shades in the basal and discal area.


In autumn, Dark Grass Blue flies low over the waste ground in urban areas, utterly dry and dusty with only sparse dispersed vegetation.


Zizeeria karsandra in Crete lives in fields near the sea, wetlands, open scrub, and generally in various types of habitats in more open landscapes.

Food plant

The larva feeds on Polygonaceae, Amaranthaceae, and Oxalis plants.

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

Dark Grass Blue is widespread from North Africa to India and South East Asia, Malta, Sicily, Rhodes, and Cyprus. It has a limited distribution in Greece and is found in Crete and Rhodes.

Because of the destruction of the habitats on the island of Crete, the butterfly population is vulnerable.


Data not available (NA)

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010).

Zizeeria karsandra Distribution Map

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

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