Brown Argus

Aricia agestis ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)



A small brown butterfly. The upperside is brown, with a black discoidal spot on the forewing, and orange submarginal spots on both wings. The females usually have a more complete set of orange spots on the forewing than the males. The underside is a brownish-grey, with  a set of orange submarginal spots on both wings. The butterfly could be confused with females in genera Plebejus or Polyommatus. The distinguishing features are the white streak dividing the hindwing almost in half, and the two black spots on the hindwing costa appearing as a colon, rather than part of the curve of the postdiscal spots.

Habitat Requirements

Ubiquotous - everywhere.

Larval Foodplants

Erodium ciconium, Common Stork's-bill Erodium cicutarium, Geranium asphodeloides, Cut-leaved Crane's-bill Geranium dissectum, Dove's-foot Crane's-bill Geranium molle, Bloody Crane's-bill Geranium sanguineum, Common Rock-rose Helianthemum nummularium.


A very common species of butterfly in Corfu and because of this its easy for the butterfly enthusiast to become tired of it drawing their attention. However, this could easily be a mistake because whilst the insect has its own intriguing ecology, this high abundance can also throw up some interesting aberrations. For example, Dan Danahar observed the occurrence of ab. deleta (where the underside is entirely white except for the orange spots) on a recently disturbed site in Dassia, at 9:14hrs on 17 April 2017 and later he observed ab. pallidior (where the orange spots on the upper wing are white) beneath the summit of Mt Pantokrator, with Anne Sordinas, at 11:20hrs  8 August 2020.

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Brown Argus submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2023 22/03/2023 16/11/2023 239 days
2022 14/03/2022 17/11/2022 248 days
2021 24/03/2021 25/10/2021 215 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2023 431
2022 401
2021 239
Grand Total 1071

Distribution Map

Distribution maps for this species are currently unavailable.

Flight Times for the Brown Argus (2023)

The chart below shows flight data by month for 2023

Flight Times for the Brown Argus (All Data)

The chart below shows flight data by month since 1st January 2021


  • Vernacular/Common Name: Brown Argus
  • Family: Lycaenidae (Leach, 1815)
  • Sub-family: Polyommatinae (Swainson 1831)
  • Tribe: Polyommatini (Swainson 1831)
  • Sub-tribe: Polyommatina (Swainson 1831)
  • Genus: Aricia (Reichenbach, 1817)
  • Species: agestis ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)


For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.