Silver-studded Blue

  • Silver-studded Blue (male/upperwing)
    Silver-studded Blue (male/upperwing)
  • Silver-studded Blue (female/upperwing)
    Silver-studded Blue (female/upperwing)
  • Silver-studded Blue (male)
    Silver-studded Blue (male)
  • Silver-studded Blue (female)
    Silver-studded Blue (female)
  • Silver-studded Blue (male/underwing)
    Silver-studded Blue (male/underwing)
  • Silver-studded Blue (male with ants)
    Silver-studded Blue (male with ants)
  • Silver-studded Blue (egg)
    Silver-studded Blue (egg)
  • Video play iconSilver-studded Blue (male/upperwing)
    Silver-studded Blue (video)
  • Silver-studded Blue (male/upperwing)
    Silver-studded Blue (male/upperwing)
  • Silver-studded Blue (female/upperwing)
    Silver-studded Blue (female/upperwing)
  • Silver-studded Blue (male)
    Silver-studded Blue (male)
  • Silver-studded Blue (female)
    Silver-studded Blue (female)
  • Silver-studded Blue (male/underwing)
    Silver-studded Blue (male/underwing)
  • Silver-studded Blue (male with ants)
    Silver-studded Blue (male with ants)
  • Silver-studded Blue (egg)
    Silver-studded Blue (egg)
  • Silver-studded Blue (male/upperwing)
    Silver-studded Blue (video)

Scientific name: Plebejus argus

A rare butterfly confined to small colonies in England and Wales.

Males blue with dark border. Females brown with row of red spots. Undersides brown-grey with black spots, a row of orange spots, and small greenish flecks on outer margin. Males similar to Common Blue, which lacks greenish spots.

This small butterfly is found mainly in heathland where the silvery-blue wings of the males provide a marvellous sight as they fly low over the heather. The females are brown and far less conspicuous but, like the male, have distinct metallic spots on the hindwing. In late afternoon the adults often congregate to roost on sheltered bushes or grass tussocks.

The Silver-studded Blue has a restricted distribution but occurs in large numbers in suitable heathland and coastal habitats. It has undergone a major decline through most of its range.

Size and Family

  • Family – Blues
  • Small Sized 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female) - 29-31mm

Conservation status

  • Listed as a Section 41 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in England
  • Listed as a Section 42 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in Wales
  • UK BAP status: Priority Species                   
  • Butterfly Conservation: Medium                      
  • European status: Not threatened              
  • Protected in Great Britain for sale only

Caterpillar Foodplants

A wide variety of ericaceous and leguminous plants are used: on heathland the most common are Heather (Calluna vulgaris), Bell Heather (Erica cinerea), Cross-leaved Heath (E. tetralix), gorses (Ulex spp).

Distribution

  • Countries – England and Wales.
  • Southern England and North Wales.
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: -43%

Habitat

A rare butterfly found on heathland, sand dunes and chalk/limestone grassland.

Factsheets

Similar species