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UK Nature  > Butterflies  > Celastrina argiolus

Scientific Name:   Celastrina argiolus
Common Name:   Holly BLue

Celastrina argiolus, more commonly known as the Holly BLue, is a small butterfly (wingspan 30mm), light silver blue in colour with black borders to the upper wing which are more defined in females. It can be distinguished from other blue butterflies by the black speckles on the underside of its wings.

Depending on temperatures and location, the holly blue can have between one and three broods in a year. Females lay small, flat white eggs on foodplants. The hatched caterpillar goes through several moults before it leaves the foodplant to pupate close to the ground, where it turns a light mauve. Those that pupate in spring emerge after a few weeks but the later brood overwinters as pupae.

Holly Blues can be seen in woods, parks and gardens in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but are not frequent in Scotland. Yearly numbers fluctuate but they are increasingly common.
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