The small blue is aptly named as it is our smallest native British butterfly. The wings are brown, fringed with white, with a fine layer of blue scales spreading out from the body. The undersides of the wings are grey with dark spots and a slight blue colour again spreading out from the body.
Males of this species can often be found in groups of two or three and are not territorial, unless selecting a perch. When not looking for nectar, males may wait for females, finding a shrub or piece of grass as a perch. Mating takes place without prior courtship, and after the female has found a suitable site she lays only one egg, as after hatching the larvae are cannabilistic.
- Wingspan: 18-27mm
UKBAP priority species.
Widespread, but in isolated pockets outside the stronghold of southern England.
When to see
May – June
- Both sexes will feed on nectar from various flowers, but males will also take in minerals and salts from mud, carrion and animal droppings.