During late June we had some time with tour-mates and later
alone to visit all the recently known Hungarian site of Iolas
Blue (Iolana iolas), probably the
most wanted and beautiful Blue of all of our butterfly fauna.
The species has lots of Hungarian relation, since it was discovered
by our prominent collector, Tobias Koy in 1816 from Budapest
(than called Ofen) near Farkasvolgy ("Valley of Wolfs").
His collection is still preserved in our National History
Museum, where you can see the original almost two hundred
years old specimens (lectotypes). (Download
this great article written by my friend, dr. Zsolt Balint
about the historical collections of our NHM. PDF, 1.0MB).
Unfortunatelly the species almost extinct, and there were
very few recent observations, while earlier this year I decided
to collect the last infos and located the possible places
with the help of Google Maps. Finally we succeeded to visit
9 of the possible places, and with the help of local experts
we did find Iolas Blue at four spots. Unfortunatelly three
are extremely small, while one is quite significant with about
15-40 specimens. We recorded the females' oviposition succesfully,
which was quite significant, because contrary to earlier observations
the female doesn't laying eggs on flowers, but she does on
the capsulae of Colutea arborescens, its only foodplant.
The species connected completely to his only foodplant, living,
feeding exclusively on it. This is a terribly sensitive and
unique creature of God/evolution/whatever. The genus also
quite small, another gorgeus species live on Sinai, Egypt
and around, called Iolana alfierii, and another one
in Pakistan and Central Asia, called I. gigantea.
20 July, 2009
The largest European Blue, Iolas Blue' female sunbathing.
Pictures taken with Gergo Szabo, a good friend who took me
to the largest site we know in Hungary so far. © Gergely
A female Iolas Blue laying eggs, the first photo ever
takes as far as I know.
An odd female sunbathing on Colutea arborescens, its only
female on Colutea arborescens' capsulae. © Gergely Szabó.
We had some very severe rains during our tours, so it
was a big bonus when we did find some "semi-frozen"
Balkan Goldenrings (Cordulagester heros) just bellow leafes,
right near the road. This is one of the most shy, rare and
fast-flying dragonfly in our fauna, literally impossible to
photograph on any suny days.
We observed and photographed them from haf a meter. We
have only some scattered populations at the western border
and in Mecsek Mts at the south.
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