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Phengaris arion (Linnaeus, 1758)   

Name in Tolman & Lewington (1997): Maculinea arion

Range: Temperate Eurasia.

Distribution in Bulgaria: Local throughout the country from sea level to ca. 1800 m.

Habitat: Warm rocky, stony or sandy places: forest glades, meadows, mountain slopes, forest margins etc.

Bionomics: One generation in June and July. Young larvae feed on Thymus and Origanum vulgare until they are adopted by ants of certain species of genus Myrmica, after which they develop in the ant nest (Tolman & Lewington 1997).

Conservation status: A widespread if local species in Bulgaria, not threatened (Kolev 2002b). IUCN category: Lower risk, least concern. Declining in W and N Europe due to adverse changes in traditional land management, listed in The Red Data Book of European Butterflies as Vulnerable.