Cacyreus marshalli Butler, 1898
Common names: Geranium Bronze [En], Brun des pélargoniums [Fr], Geraniumblauwtje [Nl], Pelargonien-Bläuling [De], Mariposa del geranio [Es], Άργος του πελαργόνιου [Gr]
First record of this species for the Greek Aegean islands
Triovassalos, MILOS ● Greece
Description: The wingspan is 15–23 mm for males and 18–27 mm for females.
The underside is grey-brown with dark bands. The two sexes are similar in appearance, having chocolate-brown uppersides with distinct chequered fringes and which contrast with the highly-patterned undersides. Adults also have substantial tails on their hindwings, along with a nearby eye spot, which diverts attacks from birds and other predators away from the critical body parts.
The young larva typically burrows into a developing flower bud, where it scoops out the contents before moving onto another bud. More mature larvae feed more-openly on the outside of the flower buds and will eventually feed on leaves of the foodplant, where they have a preference for older and drier leaves.
The mature larva is noticeably hairy and its green colouring, often with suffused pink stripes running down its length, can make it difficult to find on the foodplant.
Biology : Adults are on wing year round in warmer areas, but usually from August to May in South Africa. At higher altitudes adults are on wing in December and January.
Distribution: The species is native of South Africa. It has, however, been introduced (deliberately or accidentally) to Mediterranean Europe (initially the Balaeric Islands), where it has spread as a pest of cultivated Pelargonium geraniums, which also originate in South Africa. It is recorded in Greece (Corfu) from 1998 and later (2010) on mainland.
Pamperis L., 2009., The butterflies of Greece, Ed. Pamperis, Athens, 2nd edition. ISBN: 978-960-92740-1-2
Wikipedia, Geranium Bronze
Parker, R. 2010. Cacyreus mashalli Butler, 1898 (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae) newly recorded for Corfu, with notes on other butterflies on the island in September 2008. Entomologist’s Gazette, 61: 40-42.