February 26, 2024

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

Kind of a follow up to yesterday’s species and I’d obviously have preferred a female Common Blue for comparative purposes, but beggars can’t be choosers.

P. icarus is very common throughout almost all habitats in the UK and as such is pretty familiar to even the most casual urban butterfly spotter. Along with Large and Small Whites, Small Tortoiseshells and the odd Speckled Wood, they were a staple species for my earliest forays into lepidoptery.

This male is nectaring on Bird’s-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), who’s leaves are also the main food plant for this species’ larvae or caterpillars. This is a nice illustration of the inter-relationship between insect and plant because the trefoil itself benefits by being pollinated as the butterflies feed.