Polyommatus golgus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Polyommatus golgus
Species Authority: (Hübner, 1813)
Common Name(s):
English Sierra Nevada Blue, Nevada Blue
Papilio golgus Hübner, 1813
Taxonomic Notes: The subspecies in Sierra de la Sagra is considered by some as a separate species (P. sagratox).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-29
Assessor(s): van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J.
Reviewer(s): Lewis, O. (Butterfly RLA) & Cuttelod, A. (IUCN Red List Unit)
This species is restricted to two mountain chains in Southern Spain, where it occurrs in 9 locations. The area of occupancy (AOO) is 16 km² and it is threatened by tourism development. It is therefore classified as Vulnerable under criterion D2.
1996 Endangered
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs only in the south of Spain, in the Sierra Nevada at 2,500-3,000 m and Sierra de la Sagra at 1,700-2350 m elevation. This is a European endemic species. Recently the populations in the Sierra de la Sagra (formerly described as Polyommatus sagratrox) have been assigned to this species causing the duplication of the area of occupancy (AOO) for taxonomic reasons.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Nevada Blue is a local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In the Sierra Nevada, the Nevada Blue can be found in open patches in dwarf Juniper scrub and on grassy vegetation growing between acid, slate rocks and schist. In the Sierra de la Sagra, the butterflies are found on dry, open calcareous slopes with short vegetation. Here, the climatic conditions are extreme, the ground being covered with snow for nine months of the year. One of the plants that can withstand these conditions, the kidney-vetch Anthyllis vulneraria, is the foodplant. The female lays its eggs singly on the upperside of the leaves. The caterpillars hibernate and pupate in the ground in June. The later instars are often found in the company of ants. Habitats: screes (50%), alpine and subalpine grasslands (50%).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: All butterflies are collected to some extent, but only for the extremely rare species it can be a problem and the trade in Europe is generally at a low level compared to other continents. There is no specific trade information for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has a very restricted range. Its main threat comes from the building of tourist infrasructure and tourist activities. Considering its limited distribution it might become threatened in the long term by climate change. As the species is not treated in the Climatic Risk Atlas (Settele et al. 2008) there is no information on possible changes to the climate envelope.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on the Habitats Directive Annexes 2 and 4 and Bern Convention Annex 2. More research is needed on the distribution and ecology of the species. Suitable habitats should be protected and appropriately managed. The effects of conservation actions should be monitored by a Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Not all populations are in Natura 2000 areas.

Citation: van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J. 2010. Polyommatus golgus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 May 2015.
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