Cigaritis Acamas Butterfly

Exclusively on The Island of Cyprus

The Cigaritis acamas cypriaca butterfly, also known as the Cyprus hairstreak, is a beautiful and unique butterfly species found exclusively on the island of Cyprus. This butterfly is a member of the Lycaenidae

family, which is known for its small size and vibrant colours.

The Cyprus hairstreak is a small butterfly with a wingspan of about 30-35 mm. It has a distinctive appearance, with its upper wings being dark brown and its undersides adorned with intricate patterns of orange, white, and black. The hind wings of the male Cyprus hairstreak are adorned with a prominent orange patch, while the female has a more subdued coloration.

Cigaritis Butterfly

The Butterfly’s habitat

This butterfly is typically found in dry and rocky habitats, such as open woodlands, scrublands, and grasslands. It is often seen flitting among the low vegetation, feeding on the nectar of various flowering plants. The Cyprus hairstreak has a relatively short flight period, typically from April to June, during which it is most active and visible.

A colourful Cigaritis

The Life Cycle of The Cyprus Hairstreak

The life cycle of the Cyprus hairstreak begins with the female laying her eggs on the leaves of the host plant, which is usually a species of the Astragalus or Onobrychis genus. The eggs are small and green, blending in with the foliage. After about a week, the eggs hatch, and the caterpillars emerge to feed on the host plant. The caterpillars are green and spiny, with a distinctive appearance that serves as a form of protection from predators.

After several weeks of feeding and growing, the caterpillars pupate, forming a chrysalis in which they undergo metamorphosis. The adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis after about two weeks, ready to continue the cycle of life. The entire life cycle of the Cyprus hairstreak, from egg to adult, takes about 6-8 weeks.

cigaritis Butterfly

A Species of Conservation Concern

The Cyprus hairstreak is a species of conservation concern due to its limited distribution and the threats it faces in its natural habitat. The destruction and degradation of its native habitats, as well as the impacts of climate change, pose significant challenges to the survival of this butterfly. Efforts to conserve and protect the Cyprus hairstreak include the establishment of protected areas, habitat restoration, and monitoring of populations.

Cigaritis butterfly in Cyprus

Cyprus hairstreak Ongoing Studies

In recent years, conservation organizations and researchers have been working to better understand the ecology and biology of the Cyprus hairstreak, as well as to develop strategies for its conservation. This includes studying its habitat requirements, population dynamics, and the impacts of human activities on its survival. By gaining a deeper understanding of the species, conservationists can develop more effective measures to ensure its long-term survival.

A Unique Natural Heritage of Cyprus

The Cyprus hairstreak is not only an important component of the island’s biodiversity but also a symbol of the unique natural heritage of Cyprus. Its conservation is not only important for the species itself but also for the health and integrity of its ecosystems. By protecting the Cyprus hairstreak and its habitats, we can also safeguard the many other plants and animals that share its home.

Endemic to The Island of Cyprus

In conclusion, the Cyprus hairstreak is a beautiful and fascinating butterfly species that is endemic to the island of Cyprus. Its unique appearance, habitat requirements, and conservation status make it a species of great interest to researchers and conservationists. By working together to protect this butterfly and its habitats, we can ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to admire its beauty and marvel at its place in the natural world.

By Charlie

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