Brief SummaryRead full entry
Polyommatus golgus is a rare lycaenid butterfly endemic to two mountain ranges in Southern Spain. It occurs at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada (Cordillera Penibética) and Sierra de la Sagra (Cordillera Subbética) (Gil-T. & Ibañez 2009, Munguira 1989, Munguira et al. 2006). Based on differences in habitat, larval host plant, larval morphology, and adult behavior, some authors consider the Sierra de la Sagra populations to be a distinct species, Polyommatus sagratrox (Aistleitner 1986, Gil-T. 2003, Gil-T. & Ibañez 2009)
Larvae feed on Kidney Vetch, Anthyllis vulneraria, a perennial legume adapted to the harsh montane habitat. Butterfly populations of the two mountain ranges are associated with different endemic subspecies of the host plant (Gil-T. 2007, 2010). Late instar larvae are tended by dolichoderine ants, Tapinoma nigerrimum (Munguira 1989, Munguira & Martín 1989, 1993).
Due to its restricted range, Polyommatus golgus was listed in Appendix II of the Bern Convention (Council of Europe 1979). One of the populations in the Sierra Nevada has been threatened by habitat destruction and degradation due to expansion of ski tourism on the slopes inhabited by the butterflies (Munguira & Martín 1993).