Clover Blue

Actizera stellata

Clover Blue Butterfly, Actizera stellata, from Eldoret, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Constantly fluttering only 10cm above the ground in a grassy area. Eldoret, Kenya, December 2013. Wingspan is about 13mm. At right a pair en-copula shows the underside wing pattern.

To get this photo I had to sit down in the grass while onlookers didn't believe I was seeing a butterly at all! So small and quick-moving they are all but invisible from a meter. The common name refers to the host plant of the larval stage and the adult butterflies rarely ventured more than a few decimeters away away from Trifolium plants. The Latin binomial describes the pattern on the upper surface well: a constellation of small white stars on a dark sky. The reverse side is pale brown with a row of small darker spots with white accents. I was after a lot of web surfing able to identify this insect using the The Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Lycaenidae -- Blue and Hairstreak Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 5 April 2014
updated 14 March 2014