Butterflies of Scotland
- Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

Common Blue Butterfly

Although it can be found in many parts of Scotland, the Common Blue isn't actually all that common. The brightly coloured males are more easily seen but females less so, with the upperwings of females varying in colour from almost completely brown in southern England to predominantly blue in western Ireland and Scotland. In England Wales and Ireland Common Blues have two broods and can be seen between May - June and August - September. Single broods are the norm in Scotland with adults on the wing between June and September. The Common Blue is found in a variety of grassy habitats in sunny, sheltered positions where the foodplants (such as Common Bird's-foot-trefoil, Black Medick and White Clover) for its caterpillars can be found.

The Common Blue favours lowland grassland habitats, particularly in coastal areas and disturbed waste ground in urban locations. As a result, colonies can be lost when such sites are developed for housing etc. The metallic blue colour of the male is not due to pigment but to diffraction of sunlight by thousands of corrugated scales on the wings that absorb all colours of the spectrum except blue.

Common Blue Butterfly

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