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Butterfly Small Blue

Female Small Blue Butterfly - Photo  Copyright 2008 Philip Bland
Photo: Philip Bland

Latin name: Cupido minimus

Size: Wingspan approximately 23mm.

Rare. Scattered populations found throughout the UK in small numbers.

Months seen: May to early July. Sometimes a second generation appears in August.

Habitat: Sheltered, sunny meadows, downs, and fields. Usually in chalk or limestone areas where its food plant grows.

Food: Nectar. Caterpillars feed on kidney vetch.

Special features: The Small Blue butterfly is the smallest butterfly in the UK. The upper surfaces of the wings are a dark smoky-brown colour. The males usually have a tinge of blue scales where the wings meet the body (but not always).

Click for a better viewThe undersides of the wings (males and females) are a dusty brown colour with dark spots. There are no orange spots. Where the wings meet the body there is a flush of blue scales.

The little white caterpillars are less than 10mm long and feed on kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria).  

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UK Safari Butterfly Section

  2008 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved