Pea Blue

Lampides boeticus

a pea blue butterfly, Lampides boeticus, s.f. Polyommatinae, observed at Nairobi, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

This butterfly is perched on a Malvaceae flower, Malvastrum coromandelianum, in Nairobi, Kenya. March 2011. The wings are folded above the insect's back and the undersurface of the wings is shown in this view.

Most Lycaenidae butterflies are quite small; many have wing-spans of less than 20 mm. What they lack in size, they make up for with brilliant colors and tremendous diversity of species. The Pea Blue is common and widespread across much of Europe, Asia and northern Africa. Notice at the margins of the hind wings that there are a pair of colorful eye spots, and a pair of slender appendages or tails. This pattern might work to confuse predators as to which end is the head and thus the likely direction of escape.

The small caterpillars look a bit like slugs and feed on various plants, this one in the bean family, Fabaceae.

Lycaenidae -- Blue and Hairstreak Butterfly Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 3 August 2011,
updated 3 Sept. 2019.