Filming VarWild: Iolana iolas

Life cycle of butterflies in Provence

The Iolas Blue (Iolana iolas Ochsenheimer, 1816)

The life- cycle, the behavior of the butterfly and the caterpillars, the courtship-flight, mating, the egg- laying, the hatching of the eggs, the larval food-plant, the Baldder senna (Colutea arborescens), the myrmecophily caterpillars and the parasitoids of the butterfly The Iolas Blue has been filmed in the Var, France. Family of Lycaenidae.


. L'Azuré du bageunaudier (Iolana iolas Ochsenheimer, 1816) est-il vulnérable en région Provence-Alpes Côtes d'Azur?

2011 -	Pieter Kan, Brigitte Kan-van Limburg Stirum Jean-Pierre Balmain & Antoine Longieras
Lépidoptères, Volume 20 (2011) - n° 50.
Lépidoptères, Volume 20 (2012) - n° 53

The authors posed themselves the question of the vulnerability of the species Iolana iolas in Provence-Alpes Côtes d'Azur (PACA). In order to answer this question, it was first necessary to study the vulnerability of the only host plant known in France, Colutea arborescens, the Bladder Senna. The effects of the parasitism in controlling the populations were examined as well as the competition between different caterpillar species living in the pods, and also the interaction between the caterpillars and ants. It was noted that the ant species Lasius emarginatus has a strong attraction to the caterpillars of I. iolas.

Errata: Their is a wrong determination in the original french article 'Plance 3: concurent et parasite' n° 4-5-6 is in fact a species from the genus Exochus. Identified by Mark Shaw).


. Comportement et vol nuptial de Iolana iolas (Ochsenheimer, 1816)

2012 - Pieter Kan & Brigitte Kan-van Limburg Stirum
Lépidoptères, Volume 20 (2012) - n° 53

In spring 2012, the authors have observed the interaction between males and females of Iolana iolas, and were particularly interested in the courtship-flight and mating.


Caterpillars from the Iolas Blue (Iolana iolas), feeding inside a damaged Colutea arborescens bladder are visited by ants of the genus Lasius attracted by the honey dew from a gland called; the dorsal nectar organ (DNO), or Newcomer's gland.

Lasius niger attracted by the caterpillars of Iolana iolas

Lasius emarginatus attracted by the caterpillars of Iolana iolas


Ichneumonidae : Iolana iolas parasitized by Anisobas cephalotes

The parasitoid wasp Anisobas cephalotes (Kriechbaumer, 1882) (Hymenpotera: Ichneumonoidea) is a specialist only parasitizing the caterpillars of Iolas Blue (Iolana iolas) that lives inside the bladder of the Bladder senna (Colutea arborescens). After it has detected a caterpillar inside a bladder it will bite a hole in the bladder and enters the bladder and parasitize the caterpillar with one single egg. The wasp larva develops inside the caterpillars body. The next spring, after the caterpillar had become a chrysalis during the summer, a new Anisobas cephalotes hatch from the dead Iolana iolas chrysalis.

Identified by Dr. Mark R. Shaw

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