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Lycaenidae

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Silvery blue

English
Glaucopsyche lygdamus

It’s easy to see where this small butterfly gets its name: its wings are blue on top and silvery beneath. The top of the wing in the males is an iridescent blue, with a narrow dark border. In the females the blue is darker and the border is wider. Both sexes have a white fringe around the wings, and a row of white-ringed black spots on top. Their wingspan is 3.2 cm.

Gossamer-winged butterflies

English

This large family consists of small, often very colourful or iridescent butterflies, many of them rare. They have three sets of functional legs, but the first pair is smaller in most of the males. The antennae and eyes are usually ringed with white.

The Lycaenidae can be divided into four subfamilies:
1. Blues (subfamily Polyommatinae) owe their name to the colour of the upper surface of their wings. The females are often darker than the males.
2. Coppers (subfamily Lycaeninae) are orange or brown, with dark markings.
3. Hairstreaks and elfins (subfamily Theclinae) are recognizable by the two or three small tails on their hindwings. Often grey or brown, they have colourful markings on the underside of their wings.
4. Harvesters (subfamily Melitaeinae) are distinguished from other Lycaenidae by their special wing veins.

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