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butterfly Adonis Blue Butterflies

Identify It >   Butterfly Section >   Adonis Blue Butterflies >


Scientific name:  Lysandra bellargus

Size:  Wingspan approximately 32mm

Distribution:  Found in southern England

Months seen:  May to June and August to September

Life span:  Up to four weeks

Habitat:  South-facing, closely-grazed downland

Food:  Nectar.  The caterpillars feed on Horseshoe Vetch

Special features:  The male Adonis Blues have the richest colour of all the blue butterflies found in the UK.  Older males can look similar to Common Blue butterflies but the black and white bars at the edges of the wings are the way to distinguish them.

The females are brown with a blue blush of colour where the wings meet the body.  Female Adonis Blues also have the black and white bars at the wing margins.

The small, green, flattened caterpillars have a yellow border and a row of two yellow dots running from the head to tail along their dorsal area.  They feed on Horseshoe Vetch and have a special relationship with ants, where they provide the ants with a sugary secretion and in return receive protection from the ants against parasitic wasps and other predators.  The caterpillars also pupate inside ant nests.

Sightings

2009 - Whitesheet Hill, Wiltshire - Richard Hudson
2012 - The Cutting, Stokenchurch, Bucks - Debbie Winfield

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