Plebejus zullichi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Plebejus zullichi
Species Authority: (Hemming, 1933)
Common Name(s):
English Zullich´s Blue
Agriades zullichi Hemming, 1933

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1b(iv)c(iv)+2b(iv)c(iv) 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 is a European endemic restricted to the Sierra Nevada (Spain), where it occurs at 25 locations, has an area of occupancy (AOO) of 12 km² and an extent of occurence (EOO) of less than 5,000 km². The species is showing a population decline plus strong fluctuations. Therefore it is listed as Endangered.
1996 Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Endangered
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to the Sierra Nevada in Southern Spain, between 2,500-3,000 m elevation. This is a European endemic species.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas in the Sierra Nevada, Spain. Declines in distribution or population size of 6-30% have been reported from Spain (data provided by the national partners of Butterfly Conservation Europe). The species is showing large populations fluctuations (M. Munguira, pers. comm.)
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In the Sierra Nevada, these butterflies are found in sheltered depressions in an otherwise open landscape, where the foodplant Androsace vitaliana grows abundantly. The female lays its eggs among fresh leaves inside the rosettes of the foodplant and the young larvae feed on the parenchyma of the leaves, then overwinter as third instar larvae and use the flowers and developing seeds as food in the next spring. Habitat: plant communities growing on screes with Festuca grasses. It lives in dry and exposed areas such as hilltops where the vegetation is scarce and the foodplant grows close to the ground in the crevices or rocky areas.
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): The main threat comes from the construction of infrastructure for ski-tourism. Regarding its limited distribution, it might become threatened in the longer run by climate change. As the species is not treated in the Climatic Risk Atlas (Settele et al., 2008) there is no information on the possible change of the climate envelope.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protected areas have been identified and established. The species now occurs only in protected areas. In the future, these areas must be well managed. Future research on the distribution and population trend will be needed. The species should be monitored by Butterfly Monitoring Schemes. If a climate change related decline is observed, targeted ecological research must determine what conservation actions should be untertaken to safeguard the species.

Bibliography [top]

Barea-Azcón, J.M., Ballesteros-Duperón, E. and Moreno, D. 2008. Libro Rojo de los Invertebrados de Andalucía. Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.1). Available at: (Accessed: 10 March 2010).

Munguira, M.L. 1989. Biología y biogeografía de los Licénidos Ibéricos en peligro de extinción (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae). Ediciones Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid.

Munguira, M.L. and Martin, J. 1993. The mariposa del Puerto del Lobo Agriades zullichi Hemming (=nevadensis Zullich). In: T.R. New (ed.), Conservation biology of Lycaenidae (Butterflies)., pp. 78-80. IUCN, Gland.

Settele, J., Kudrna, O., Harpke, A., Kühn, I., Swaay, C. van, Verovnik, R., Warren, M., Wiemers, M., Hanspach, J., Hickler, T., Kühn, E., Halder, I. van, Veling, K., Vliegenthart, A., Wynhoff, I., Schweiger, O. 2008. Climatic risk atlas of European butterflies. Biorisk 1 (Special Issue). Pensoft, Sofia.

Verdú, J.R. and Galante, E. 2006. Libro Rojo de los Invertebrados de España. Dirección General para la Biodiversidad. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Madrid.

Citation: van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J. 2010. Plebejus zullichi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 May 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided