Silver-studded Blue Butterfly

Plebeius argus

Members adopting this butterfly: Zebunisa, Bhajan, Chanchal, Tabassum, Hussain, Amarjit

Silver-studded Blue Butterfly

A male Silver Studded Blue butterfly can look similar to a Common Blue however; the thick black border on the upper side of both wings distinguishes the male from other blues. Females have upper wings that are brown but may show some blue. The butterfly has a series of metallic-blue-centred spots on the outer edge of the underside of the hind wings.

When you might see them
You may see this butterfly during July.

Food
Silver-studded Blue butterflies tend to feed on Bell Heather but also feed on Cross-leaved Heath, Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil, Horseshoe Vetch and Common Rock-rose.

Where – Habitat
You may find Silver-studded Blue butterflies in lowland heaths or limestone. They breed on coastal dunes and cliffs.

Silver-studded Blue Eggs

Silver-studded Blue butterflies have a close relationship with black ants this is because this type of butterfly lays their eggs where they can find black ants’ nests. The egg is formed like a disc and is the colour white.

When
The egg is laid during August and hatches towards the end of March.

Silver-studded Blue Caterpillar

The colour of a Silver-studded Blue caterpillar varies from bright pale green to brown. It also has blackish stripes along its back and has white stripes along each side of its body.

When
This caterpillar grows throughout April and May.

Food
The caterpillar feeds on gorse flowers, heather, Horseshoe Vetch and Bird’s foot Trefoil. The caterpillar may eat tender plant tissues if they are still living in an ant’s nest.

Where
The caterpillar is taken to a black ants nest by the ants. They then tend and tap the caterpillar with their antennae licking their sugar-rich secretions in return. You may find this caterpillar on flower buds and young shoots.

Silver-studded Blue Chrysalis

A Silver-studded Blue’s chrysalis is green and can be 8-9mm long.

When
The caterpillar will be ready to pupate in June and will become a butterfly during July.=

Where
The chrysalis is formed underground, within the chambers of the ant’s nest. Ants may carry the chrysalis to their nests.

 

Books used to find information

Britain’s Butterflies

A field guide to the butterflies of Britain and Ireland.
Written by David Newland, Robert Still, David Tomlinson and Andy Swash

The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland 

Written by Jeremy Thomas and Richard Lewington

Guide to the butterflies of Britain

Written by John Bebbington

Usborne Spotter’s Guides – Butterflies

Written by George E. Hyde

BBC Gardeners World Magazine

Issue July 2011

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