Plebeius idas (Linnaeus, 1761) Idas Blue or Northern Blue, Idas-Blauling, Голубянка идас, Իդաս կապտաթիթեռ
Distribution and biological peculiarities in Armenia: The species is found in the northern regions of the Palearctic ecozone and the Nearctic ecozone. Armenia is inhabited by endemic subspecies P. i. altarmena (Forster, 1936), which predominantly occurs in calcareous grasslands at the elevation range from 1500 to 3200 m a.s.l. There are some discussions about taxonomic status of the high mountain populations of the species, which are considerably smaller than butterflies of lower elevation with difference in the wing-marks. While some authors consider those as belonging to species Plebejus calliopis (Boisduval, 1832), the others take those populations as ecological form of Idas Blue. We leave a reservation on necessity of additional taxonomic status of Idas Blue complex in Armenia, and consider that as a single species. The larvae of Idas Blue grows on Hippocrepis emeroides, Cercis siliquastrum, Melilotus albus, Chrysaspis campestris, Genista tinctoria, and Astragalus alpinus. The species gives one generation per year having butterflies on wing from late June early July till mid August depending on elevation.
Population dynamics: The species is uncommon to rare within typical habitat, and its population trend remains stable during 2003-2013 (p>0.05). Most probably the reason for that is a species' adaptability in host plant selection and opportunity to switch between host plants, thus surviving the intensive grazing conditions.
Conservation measures: The species is not included in the Global and National Red Lists, as well as in CITES and Bern Conventions, however it was evaluated for European Red Book as a Least Concern. Preliminary assessment of its conservation status for Armenia suggests the same. The species is presented in number of protected areas and Emerald Sites, as well as in Prime Butterfly Areas Gyumorats, Lichk, Kajaran. Gnisheek, and Artanish-Shorzha. At current there is no need for additional conservation measures, however it is important to clarify the taxonomic status of high mountain populations, as they could be evaluated separately. Also it is essential to continue monitoring of the species for early diagnosis of changes in its population, and development of conservation measures.