Butterflies of Europe
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Satyrium acaciae, Aggtelek hills,
are 64 described species in the genus Satyrium,
which has at various times been known by the invalid synonyms
Nordmannia, Pseudothecla and
Strymonidia. The genus occurs across the
temperate, sub-arctic and subtropical regions of the northern
There are 7 species in Europe -
and ledereri; of which only
w-album and pruni
occur in Britain.
is found in northern Spain, and east across most of south and central
Europe but is absent from southern Italy and the Mediterranean
islands. Beyond Europe it's range extends to Turkey and southern
species is found in a wide variety of habitats including woodland
clearings and glades, field edges, dry scrubby heathland, sub-alpine
woodland / meadow mosaics and alpine grasslands. It occurs at
altitudes between sea level and about 2000m.
The adults are
single-brooded, emerging in June and July.
The eggs are laid
singly or sometimes in two's or three's in the forks of blackthorn
stems. They overwinter, and hatch the following February or March.
The plump green
caterpillars feed on blackthorn Prunus spinosa,
resting openly on the foliage, against which they are superbly
camouflaged. In common with other Lycaenidae they are almost
certainly involved in a mutually beneficial relationship with ants.
The butterflies are
strongly attracted to yarrow flowers Achillea,
and also to ox-eye daisy, thyme, stonecrop and bramble.