Grass Jewel
Freyeria trochilus, Freyer

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Grass Jewel on Acanthus spp

It is the smallest butterfly species in the island with a wingspan of 14-18 mm.

The sexes are similar. The wings are a dull brown above and a paler brown below. On the upper side hind wing there are four or five distinct black spots at the tornus. The space between the tornal spots on the underside is bright orange. On the under side hind wing, the glistening metallic silver on the black spots of the marginal band is unmistakable. A hand lens is required to see these lively details.

Simlar species
Lesser Grass Blue, Tiny Grass Blue and Dark Grass Blue. More information.

Status, distribution and habitat
A common butterfly of the dry and intermediate zones below 1000 feet. It is commonest at the lowest elevations. Its habitat is open fields with short grass and herbs.

It is an active butterfly in good weather but is easily overlooked due to its small size and drab appearance. It stays at ground level and frequently settles down to nectar on small flowers. It basks in the early morning hours, keeping its wings partly open.

Early stages
Larval host plants are mostly legumes and include species of Vicia, Indigofera, Pisum and Lotus.

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