Small blue Cupido minimus

The Small Blue is aptly named as it is our smallest native British butterfly. 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.

Behaviour

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.

Size

Wingspan: 18-27mm.

Status

UKBAP priority species.

Distribution

Widespread, but in isolated pockets outside the stronghold of southern England.

When to see

May – June

Facts

Both sexes will feed on nectar from various flowers, but males will also take in minerals and salts from mud, carrion and animal droppings.

Common name

Small blue

Species name

Cupido minimus

When to see in Scotland

May – June

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