Blue Goat Clover

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Blue Goat Clover
Blue-goose clover (Plebejus argus)

Blue-goose clover ( Plebejus argus )

Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Butterflies (Lepidoptera)
Family : Bluebirds (Lycaenidae)
Subfamily : Lycaeninae
Genre : Plebeian
Type : Blue Goat Clover
Scientific name
Plebeius argus
( Linnaeus , 1758)

The silver-studded blue ( Plebejus argus, often falsely also Plebeius argus written), also Argus Bluebird called, is a butterfly from the family of Gossamer (Lycaenidae). In 2008 it was named Butterfly of the Year .


The wingspan of these small moths is between 20 and 30 millimeters. The males are colored azure blue on top and brownish on the wing edge with a white fringed edge. Your tibia of the front legs have a strong thorn. The females are brown on the upper side of the wings and have orange spots on the hind wings in the area of ​​the wing edge. The underside of both sexes is light gray with black spots, which turn greenish on the hind wings, and orange spots on the wing edge. The body is blue-gray on the top and lighter gray-blue on the underside. Because of the small differences in drawing, color and shape, numerous forms and subspecies have been described (see below). The blue goat clover can be confused with other blue silver spots. A genital determination is necessary for the reliable differentiation of these species .

The caterpillar has a green body with white stripes on the sides and a black stripe on the back.

Similar species


  • Plebejus argus caernensis Thompson , 1941. Found in North Wales .
  • Plebejus argus aegidion Meisner , 1818. Western Alps 1500 to 2000 meters, first description from the Grimsel Pass , Switzerland .
  • Plebeius argus hypochionus Rambus , 1858. Widespread in northern Portugal and in southern and central Spain.
  • Plebeius argus corsicus Bellier , 1862. Corsica and France .

Flight time

Plebeius argus produces two generations: from May to June and from July to August.


Moist to very dry locations, variable depending on the altitude.

Way of life

The fodder plants belonging to the genera foot trefoil ( Lotus ), gorse ( Ulex ) cytisus ( Cytisus ), broom ( Genista ) colutea ( Colutea ), Astragalus ( Astragalus ), ononis ( Ononis ), alfalfa ( Medicago ), horseshoe vetch ( Hippocrepis ) , Kronwicken ( Coronilla ), Galega , Sonnenröschen ( helianthemum ), heather ( Calluna vulgaris ) and heather ( Erica ). In Northern Europe, the fully developed caterpillar overwinters in the egg shell.


Plebeius argus is widespread from northern and eastern Spain to Scandinavia . It is also found in Greece and the European part of Turkey , but not in Ireland and Scotland . Since the caterpillars of Plebeius argus are markedly myrmecophilic , the eggs are laid near ant nests . Adult caterpillars pupate in ant nests, into which they are drawn by workers. Symbioses are formed with black garden ant ( Lasius niger ), foreign garden ant ( Lasius alienus ) and ash-gray slave ant ( Formica cinerea ).


In Europe the population of blue billy clover is stable. In Germany it is endangered, Red List 3.


  • Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: The butterflies of Europe and Northwest Africa . Franckh-Kosmos, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-440-07573-7 .
  • Hans-Josef Weidemann: Butterflies: observe, determine . Naturbuch-Verlag, Augsburg 1995, ISBN 3-89440-115-X .
  • Butterflies. 2. Special part: Satyridae, Libytheidae, Lycaenidae, Hesperiidae . In: Günter Ebert, Erwin Rennwald (eds.): The butterflies of Baden-Württemberg . 1st edition. tape 2 . Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 1991, ISBN 3-8001-3459-4 .

Individual evidence

  1. Plebejus Kluk, 1802 is in the Official Lists and Indexes of Names in Zoology as a valid name for this genus PDF
  2. a b c Elizabeth Balmer: Butterflies: Recognize and determine. Parragon Books Ltd., 2007, ISBN 9781407512037 , p. 89
  3. Chris van Swaay, Martin Warren: Red Data Book of European Butterflies (Rhopalocera) , Nature and Environment, No. 99, Council of Europe Publishing, p. 41
  4. ^ Butterflies - Plebeius argus

Web links

Commons : Blue Goat Clover  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files