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Silver-Studded Blue Butterfly (Plebejus argus)

 

Description

The silver-studded blue is a small butterfly, similar in appearance although slightly smaller than the more regularly seen Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus).

The upper-wings of the male are purpleish/blue, with a  border of black on the outer margins.  The female is dark brown, with a dusting of blue scales, and orange spots around the margins of the wings.

Silver-studded blue butterflies are single brooded, emerging and on the wing in mid June, they form a close colony, most colonies contain just a few hundred adults, although in an area with plenty suitable habitat, there may be more than one colony.

Where

Localised but widespread the Silver-Studded Blue mainly found across the Southern counties of the UK, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cornwall, Devon and Wales.

Male Silver-studded blue butterfly (Plebejus argus) wings open

Male Silver-studded blue butterfly showing bright blue upper-wings

Male Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus) seen mid June on Bell Heather

Seen mid June Silver-studded Blue on Heather

Quick Info: Silver-studded Blue

  • Name: Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus)
  • Family Group: Blues – Lycaenidae.
  • Habitat: Found mainly in warm areas on open sandy heaths or occasionally on grassland and coastal dunes in areas where Gorse, Ling and Bell heather are often found.
  • When: Beginning mid June, with numbers of individuals peaking around the end of June into July although this varies depending on the subspecies and colonies location.
  • Size around: 28-30mm
  • Larval Food Plant: Gorse (Ulex europaeus) and Bell Heather (Ling) (Erica cinerea)
  • Adult Nectar Plant: Flowers like Bell heather, Birds-foot trefoil.
  • Population Status: A priority species for conservation although the overall population at this time is stable
  • Photographed: Kelling Heath, Norfolk
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