Pyrgus bellieri (Oberthür, 1910)

Synonyms/other combinations:
Pyrgus foulquieri

Pyrgus bellieri: Male (e.l. Provence, France, 2010) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Male (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Male (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Male (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Male (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Male (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Male abdomen (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Female (e.l. Provence, France, 2010) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Female (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Portrait [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Male upper side [N] Pyrgus bellieri: Upper side, Italian Alpi marittime [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Adult (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Adult lower side (Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Young larva (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Young larva (April 2010, Provence, France, Sainte Baume) [M] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva after the hibernation, Provence, France, April 2010 [M] Pyrgus bellieri: Shelter of a young larva in April (Sainte Baume) [M] Pyrgus bellieri: Shelter of a young larva in April (Sainte Baume) [M] Pyrgus bellieri: Shelter opened (April 2010, Sainte Baume) [M] Pyrgus bellieri: Half-grown larva [M] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva in penultimate instar (Provence, France) [M] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva in penultimate instar [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva after the last moult  [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva after the last moult  [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva after the last moult (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva (Provence, France) [M] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva with relativ long hair (Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva (Provence, France) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva (e.l. Sainte Baume, 2010) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva (e.l. Provence, France, 2010) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva (e.l. Sainte Baume, 2010) [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Larva caudal: in this species the anal shield is more developed than in Pyrgus alveus. [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Pupa [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Pupa [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Pupa [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Pupa [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Pupa [S] Pyrgus bellieri: Place of larval record in the Provence, France, April 2010 [N] Pyrgus bellieri: Larval habitat (Provence, France, April 2010): Helianthemum hirtum [N] Pyrgus bellieri: Habitat near Cuneo [N] Pyrgus bellieri: Habitat near Cuneo [N] Pyrgus bellieri: Habitat in the Massif de la Sainte Baume (Provence, France) in a dry stream bed where also Pyrgus sidae and Pyrgus onopordi fly. [N]

Host plants:
The species lives only on Cistaceae (Helianthemum species). Own observations have been made on Helianthemum hirtum (Provence) and Helianthemum nummularium grandiflorum (Maritime Alps near Cuneo).

Habitat:
Pyrgus bellieri inhabits mountain slopes and limestone massifs in the Mediterranean area. It rises to almost 2000m above sea level in the Southwestern Alps. In low, hot locations in the Basse-Provence region the larval habitat is often located in open woodland edges, but more on sunny slopes at higher altitudes.

Life cycle:
The caterpillar overwinters mostly young (L2, more rarely L3 or even L4) and is fully-grown until late May or in June. In the Massif de la Sainte Baume in January I found a L2-larva under a pine tree in a shelter 15cm above the ground at Heliantemum hirtum that grew in a broom. After the winter I found some still hibernating larvae and some that just had become active in early April in partially shaded locations in cocoon-like shelters 1-8cm above the ground on Helianthemum hirtum.
I observed half-grown caterpillars especially in penultimate instar or at the beginning of the last instar there several times in late May.

2005, in the end of May, I observed in approximately 1500m above sea level mostly mature and a few half-grown caterpillars on H. nummularium agg. Adults flew in this species-rich lavender-lined slope (with Parnassius apollo, Nymphalis antiopa, Plebicula escheri, Polyommatus damon, Eilema lutarella, Chelis maculosa, Melitaea phoebe, Carcharodus flocciferus, Carcharodus lavatherae, Lycaena alciphron, Satyrus ferula and many others) from mid-July to early September.

Endangerment factors:
In the lowland Pyrgus bellieri is endangered significantly by building settlements, tourism, cottages, abandonment, reforestation and agriculture, in higher regions probably less.

Remarks:
The distribution ranges from Northern Spain across the Eastern Pyrenees and Southern France to Central Italy. To the north, it is found in the French Hautes-Alpes and the Piedmont, and very rarely on the southern foothills of the Alps in Northern Italy (Lake Garda).

Hints on determination:
Pyrgus bellieri is a near relative of Pyrgus alveus. The caterpillars of Pyrgus bellieri usually bear longer hairs (the longest in European Hesperiidae). The adults can be confused with Pyrgus cirsii and P. alveus. The males of Pyrgus bellieri, however, show a much larger hair tuff at the tip of the abdomen.



Pyrgus accretus | Pyrgus alveus | Pyrgus andromedae | Pyrgus armoricanus | Pyrgus cacaliae | Pyrgus carlinae | Pyrgus carthami | Pyrgus cinarae | Pyrgus cirsii | Pyrgus malvae | Pyrgus malvoides | Pyrgus onopordi | Pyrgus serratulae | Pyrgus sidae | Pyrgus warrenensis