Jul 02 2018

A silver-studded summer spectacle

Silver-studded blue by Warden Michael

The all important underside of a Silver-studded Blue butterfly by Warden Michael

Upper side of silver-studded blue butterfly by Michael Jones

Upper side of Silver-studded Blue butterfly by Warden Michael

The Silver-studded Blue butterfly (Plebejus argus) has started its flight season and can be found fluttering low over short-cropped heather on our heaths until August. They can be distinguished from other blues by looking for small silver-blue spots on the hind wing. On the upper side, the males are bright blue with a chunky black outline. The females are brown and are not as conspicuous. Like some of our other blue butterflies, the silver-studded blue forms an intimate relationship with ants. The caterpillar lures the ants (Lasius sp.) with a mix of pheromones and sugary excretions and, in return, the ants provide protection. If you spot a silver-studded blue on the Thames Basin Heaths, you can help contribute to the vital monitoring of the species by logging your sighting on the ‘iRecord Butterflies’ app on your smartphone… and, if you take a photo, please do share it with us!

Warden Michael

Read more at Butterfly Conservation.


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