Butterflies of Europe
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - LYCAENINAE
tribe - TOMARINI
Dudar, Granada, Andalucia, Spain
© Peter Bruce-Jones
genus Tomares comprises of 8 species -
ballus and romanovi.
Only 2 species are found in Europe - ballus
and nogelli, with the ranges of the other
species not quite reaching the European boundary.
Males of all species are dark brown
above, but the females have large patches of metallic orange on both
wings. the underside hindwings vary considerably according to species
- e.g. mauretanicus is mottled in shades
of grey and brown, ballus is plain green,
and nogelli is grey with a linear series
of orange and black spots.
Tomares ballus is found in Portugal, Spain and the
Mediterranean coast of France. It also occurs in Morocco, Algeria,
Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.
This species inhabits open
dry flowery habitats where the sward is short and fairly sparse. It
can be found at elevations between sea level and about 1700m.
The egg is laid singly on
leaf buds of the foodplants. These vary according to locality and
Medicago, Dorycnium and
Anthyllis ( Fabaceae ). The larvae are
attended by Plagiolepis ants and probably
pupate within the ant nests although this is not confirmed.
Tolman records that at
high elevations after severe overnight frosts very torpid adults have
been found lying with closed wings on rocks. As the rocks are warmed
by the morning sun the butterflies slowly regain the use of their legs
and raise themselves, adjusting their position regularly so that the
under surface of their wings remain perpendicular to the sun's rays.