Rottemburg, 1775 – (Common Blue; Icarus)
The Common Blue is perhaps the most common butterfly in the entire Mediterranean. It can be found from sea level to fairly high elevations. It is a very small and showy butterfly, especially the male that shows a beautiful metallic blue color on the upper part of both wings, while the female is much more anonymous and has a brownish color. Despite having a fairly fast and frenetic flight, it makes numerous stops, particularly on the heads of the composites, where it lingers to feed and mate. In the Tuscan Archipelago it can be seen on Elba, Giglio, Pianosa and Capraia from the first days of spring to autumn. This is a multivoltine* species and can complete up to 3 generations in the archipelago. The larva feeds mainly on Leguminosae (Trifolium spp., Medicago spp. etc.) and deserves special attention as far as its biology is concerned, since it is a case of “facultative myrmecophilia”, i.e. the larva can be protected by ants and are defended that live on the host plant, which they sometimes even bring into their anthill, where they feed it until it hatches into a butterfly.