Long-tailed Blue Lampides boeticus (Linnaeus, 1767)

Superfamily: Papilionoidea Family: Lycaenidae Status: Resident in Madeira

Recommended tours to watch this butterfly

Full-day birdwatching
Laurel Forest Tour
Half-day birdwatching
Note: when booking any of these tours please state your interest in butterflies.


A small, quick flying butterfly appearing grayish brown with glimpses of blue.
Male’s upperside is blue, sometimes into violet while on females it is more brownish on the margins with the blue concentrated on the discal area towards the body. Their undersides are brown with white markings in general and with 2 dark spots (one much bigger than the other), near to the slender tail. On the hindwing these spots are surrounded by an orangy colour.

Lampides boeticus Caterpillars

The long-tailed Blue caterpillar is small, pale brown with a longitudinal dark brown line on the centre of the body.

Host & Food Plants

According to Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006 its known host plants in Madeira are Lupinus luteus, Cytisus scoparius, Sesbania punicea, Senna didymobotrya, Teline maderensis and in Porto Santo was seen laying eggs on Lotus glaucus.

Habitat & behaviour

In Madeira we normally see it in flower rich dry habitats, avoiding forested areas.
It rarely stops for long periods and flies quickly, making it difficult to observe it well.

Distribution in Atlantic Islands of Macaronesia:

Occurs in Madeira, Porto Santo, Azores, Canary & Cape Verde Islands (Aguiar & Karsholt, 2006)


Regional status according to Aguiar & Karsholt, 2008: Native to Madeira & Porto Santo
Regional status according to Wakeham-Dawson et al., 2001: Common and widely distributed resident
Status according to the European Red List of Butterflies, 2010: Least Concerned

Join Madeira Wildlife Monthly Newsletter. All the updates on your email every month.