Scientific name: Polyommatus icarus
Male has blue wings with black-brown border and thin white fringe. Female brown, similar to Brown Argus, but with blue dusting near body.
The Common Blue is the most widespread blue butterfly in Britain and Ireland and is found in a variety of grassy habitats.
The brightly coloured males are conspicuous but females are more secretive. The colour of the upperwings of females varies from almost completely brown in southern England to predominantly blue in western Ireland and Scotland, but the colour is variable within local populations with some striking examples. Unlike Adonis and Chalkhill Blues, the dark veins do not extend into white fringes of wing margins.
It remains widespread but there have been local declines within its range.
Size and Family
- Family: Blues
- Size: Small
- Wing Span Range (male to female): 35mm
- Butterfly Conservation priority: Low
- European status: Not threatened
Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) is the main foodplant. Other plants used include: Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil (L. pedunculatus), Black Medick (Medicago lupulina), Common Restharrow (Ononis repens), White Clover (Trifolium repens), Lesser Trefoil (T. dubium).
- Countries: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
- Found throughout Britain and Ireland
- Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = -15%
Very common and found in a variety of habitats especially sunny sheltered spots. Examples of habitats include; downland, coastal dunes, undercliffs, road verges, acid grass and woodland clearings
It is also found on waste ground, disused pits and quarries, golf courses, and urban habitats such as cemeteries.
- Butterflies and farmland
- Farmland Butterflies ID chart
- Butterflies in towns and cities
- Woodlands for Butterflies and Moths