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Small Blue: hide and seek

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Small Blue: hide and seek

The small blue (Cupido minimus) is certainly a small butterfly; indeed it is the smallest British butterfly with each wing is little more than 1/4 inch across so my photo may be a little misleading. Whilst it is small it is not blue however! This is the male which has just a hint of blue on a charcoal background whereas the female lacks the hint of blue altogether. It has no other markings on the upper side of the wing but does have the light coloured border like most of the other members of the family. 

Small blues are hard to find for a variety of reasons. Firstly, their size means they are easily over looked. Then they have a very short season flying for a couple of weeks around the end of May and beginning of June although there is a partial second brood here in the south towards the end of August. Thirdly, they are quite rare, found in very few locations and in Dorset we have small colonies at Durlston and on Portland; there maybe elsewhere but I am not aware of any. Finally, they live in little pockets just a few yards across; they favour small patches of kidney vetch. It is possible to be in the right place at the right time and yet miss them because they are so limited in range. 

Going looking for the small blue? The very best of luck!


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 2 months ago

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