Size: 24-26 mm. The underside of the wings are pale brown with wavy white lines but no broad white band. The upperside of the wing of the male is violet-blue, while in female is grey-brown with blue markings.
89 records. Latest in 2006 (many locations)
Distribution in Egypt
Northern and eastern Egypt. AOO = 198 km2. EOO = 487,000 km2. More than 10 locations.
Widespread (Africa and Arabia)
Cultivated and desert areas near legumes.
Host-plants: many Leguminosae, plus others such as Plumbago (Plumbaginaceae).
Life History and Behavior
The Flight Period
Several generations per year.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Leptotes pirithous
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Leptotes pirithous
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 70
Species With Barcodes: 1
Status in Egypt
Resident and migrant
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Can be a pest of legume crops such as peas and beans since crop unmarketable
Leptotes pirithous is a small butterfly with a wingspan of 21–29 mm in males and 24–30 mm in females. The uppersides of the wings are purple bluish in males, bluish-brown in female. The undersides are dark beige striped with white lines. The hindwings show marginal orange and black spots and two small tails. For the design of the undersides of the wings they can be confused with Lampides boeticus and Cacyreus marshalli. These butterflies fly from February to November depending on the location. They are regular migrants.
The larvae feed on the flowers and fruits of Fabaceae, Rosaceae and Plumbaginaceae species, including Plumbago capensis, Indigofera, Rynchosia, Vigna, Burkea, Mundulea, Melilotus, Crataegus, Quercus suber, Medicago sativa, Trifolium alexandrium, Arachis hypogaea, Lythrum, Calluna, Genista, Dorycnium, Lythrum salicaria, Calluna vulgaris, Onobrychis viciifolia, Ulex and Melilotus alba. A life cycle takes about 4–8 weeks, depending on the temperature.
- Leptotes pirithous pirithous (southern Europe, Caucasus, Transcaucasia, North Africa)
- Leptotes pirithous capverti Libert, Baliteau & Baliteau, 2011 (Cape Verde)
- Leptotes pirithous insulanus (Aurivillius, 1924) (Mozambique)
This species prefers varied wasteland, cultivated areas and gardens.
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