Scientific Classifications explained
» Fungi, Mosses & Lichens
» Leaf Mines
» Wild Flowers
UK Nature > Butterflies > Polyommatus icarus
Scientific Name: Polyommatus icarus
Common Name: Common Blue
Polyommatus icarus, more commonly known as the Common Blue, has a wingspan of 2.7 - 3.4cm. The upperside of the male's wings are light blue with a violet tinge and a white fringe to the wing edges. The female (pictured above) has more brown, sometimes quite heavily overlaid with blue, with a row of orange spots along the outer wing-margins. Wing undersides are light grey in the males, light brown in the females, with a vivid pattern of dots in both sexes.
It is found throughout the UK, in dry and wet meadows and open, hilly countryside. The flight period is early April to mid-October, with two or three broods. Feeds at many flowers and at night rests head down on grass stems. Female lays eggs singly on the buds or flowers of the caterpillar's food plants. The caterpillar is pale green and woodlouse-shaped, with thin yellowish side stripes and short hairs.
Polyommatus icarus feeds especially on Bird's-foot Trefoil, but also on Lucerne, medicks, restharrows and other plants; frequently visited by ants which feed on secretions produced by glands at the hind end and protect it from enemies.
www.uknature.co.uk is a website dedicated to showing the immense diversity of UK nature and wildlife. Our vast range of habitats, from lowland arable to snow covered mountains, from storm-ravaged coastlines to peaceful inland freshwater lakes and rivers, from dry, sandy heaths to deciduous and coniferous forests, all these habitats contribute to the abundance of UK nature. We have wild birds in huge numbers either residing or visiting our shores (597 recorded species as at July 2013) and we must also not forget the humble back garden with its grass lawns, flower beds filled with nectar rich flowers, shrubs and trees, all designed to attract huge numbers of insects such as bees, moths, butterflies and hoverflies; and finally the small ponds which provide safe havens for frogs, toads, newts and even slow worms and grass snakes. www.uknature.co.uk is the showcase for my personal passion, photographing uknature in all its glory. I sincerely hope you all enjoy the fruits of my labours.
This site and all images contained therein is © Jeremy Lee 2004 - 2020. All Rights Reserved. Site design by Jeremy Lee.