Chilades trochylus trochylus Freyer, 1844
Common names: Grass Jewel [En], Μικρός καστανόςάργος [Gr], Mücevher Kelebeği [Tu], Azuré de Freyer, Azuré de l’héliotrope [Fr],
Description: This is the Europe's smallest butterfly, only present on some places in Greece but well in Middle East, Asia and Africa. Specimens from dry localities are much paler than those taken in areas with a comparatively heavy rainfall.
Forewing : uniform, with a very ill-defined anticiliary dark line in some specimens. Hind wing: a subterminal series of round black spots crowned with pale ochraceous, the posterior four spots generally well defined and outwardly edged with white, the anterior spots obsolescent and without the interior edging of yellow or the outer edging of white; a well-marked, slender anticiliary black line. Cilia white, basal halves brown.
Underside: pale silky brown. Forewing: with the following white markings:—a short line on the inner and outer sides of the discocellulars ; a transverse, slightly curved, discal series of small, more or less incomplete rings; a transverse postdiscal series of disconnected slender lunules; a subterminal series of similar but more regular lunules and a terminal broken line, followed by a dark unbroken anticiliary line; the groundcolour between the two short discocellar lines, that enclosed within each ring of the discal markings, and between the sub-terminal lunules and the terminal line slightly darker than on the rest of the wing. Hind m ing: two short white lines on the discocellulars ; the discal, poatdiscal and terminal markings as on the fore wing, except that enclosed between the subterminal series of white lunules and the terminal white line is a complete series of dark spots, the posterior three or four jet-black sprinkled outwardly with metallic-green scales and encircled with pale ochraceous. In addition there are a transverse subbasal series of four white-encircled black spots and a similar subcostal spot in middle of interspace 7. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen brown, the shaft of the antennce speckled with white; beneath: palpi, thorax and abdomen white.
Food plants: Heliotropium sp., Indigofera sp., Andrachne sp.
Flying time: March to October.
Several subspecies are known:
Chilades trochylus trochylus : Asia Minor, Caucasus Minor, Armenia
Chilades trochylus minuscula or Chilades minuscula (Aurivillius, 1909): Madagascar.
Chilades trochylus obscura Heydemann, 1954: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
Chilades trochylus orientalis (Forster, 1980): Thailand, Nepal
Chilades trochylus persa (Bytinsky-Salz, 1937): Azerbaijan, Kopet-Dagh
Habitat: hot dry disturbed ground with sparse grasses.
Distribution: Only a few areas on Greece mainland and islands of Chios, Rhodos, Samos and Crete; Turkey, Cyprus, Middle East, all Africa, including Madagascar , South Asia and Pacific islands.
Dennis R.L.H., Shreeve T.G., Olivier A., Coutsis J.G., 2000. Contemporary geography dominates butterﬂy diversity gradients within the Aegean archipelago (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea) Journal of Biogeography, 27, 1365–1383
Matt Rowlings, Eurobutterflies