Alcon Blue Butterfly (Maculinea alcon) - Wiki
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[Photo] Alcon Blue Butterfly (Maculinea alcon) eggs on Marsh Gentian. Date: 19 July 2006. Author: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:BP
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, more commonly known as Alcon Blue
or Alcon Large Blue
is a Lycaenid butterfly
(this family includes the blues, coppers and hairstreaks) and is found in Europe and Northern Asia.
The Alcon blue butterfly
can be seen flying in mid to late summer. All large blue butterflies
are rare because of this interaction with ant
species which have a myrmecophilous relationship with the ant
, are locked to primary [[host (biology)|host specificity. The Alcon blue
is unusual in this regard in that it uses different host species in different locations throughout Europe. It is known to use Myrmica scabrinodis
, Myrmica ruginodis
, and Myrmica rubra
as the primary host within differing European zones.
The eggs are laid onto the Marsh Gentian, Gentiana pneumonanthe, and the caterpillar
s eat no other plant. However, in the region of the Alps they are sometimes also found on the related Willow Gentian (Gentiana asclepiadea).
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