This small butterfly has a silvery appearance as it flies low to the ground over sheltered flowery grasslands. In Britain and mainland Europe, the pattern of wing spots is highly variable and many local races (and sub-species) have been described. 

In Scotland, most individuals are of the race artaxerxes and have a characteristic white spot in the middle of the forewing. The butterfly occurs mainly as small, scattered colonies and is the subject of conservation activity to protect its habitat.

Size and Family

  • Family: Blues
  • Size: Small
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 29mm

Caterpillar Foodplants

The most important food plant is Common Rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium), though there are rare records of egg laying (probably accidental) on other plants.



Occurs usually in well drained, lightly grazed or ungrazed unimproved grasslands. They prefer sheltered habitats, frequently with scrub and patches of bare ground such as; sand dunes, quarries, coastal valleys and steep slopes.