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Silver-studded Blue: a hundred eyes

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Silver-studded Blue: a hundred eyes

Dorset is home to a number of very rare butterflies and the silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) is certainly one of them. Argus was a giant with a hundred eyes; the silver-studded blue is hardly a giant and does not have a hundred eyes on the underside of its wing but those numerous black and silver studs on the wings are almost certainly how it came by its Latin name. It is a small butterfly being smaller than a common blue and with much brighter markings on the underside of its wings. On the top of the wings the silver-studded blue has quite a noticeable black margin.

This a species with quite a distinctive preference in habitat however, as a heathland butterfly and can be found from late June until early August on the heaths of Purbeck, notably at Arne. It also occurs on limestone grass downland and can be found on Portland. Being primarily a heath specialist, it is not surprising that its favoured food plants are gorse and broom and the larvae also feed on heather and birds-foot trefoil. 

Blue butterflies are, in general, exquisitely beautiful insects and the silver-studded blue is certainly one of the best.


 

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This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 1 year 10 months ago

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