The Lycaenidae are the second largest family of butterflies. Within this family, species that have blue wings are known colloquially as the 'blues'. In most species the male is more blue than the female which is more brown than blue.
The common blue (Polyommatus icarus), as its name suggests, is one of the commonest species of blue in Great Britain. The larvae feed on many plants including Bird's Foot Trefoil. Like many blues, the larvae of the common blue is attractive to ants and is taken into their nest (when in the final instar) where it's protected by the ants and eats their eggs and young.
The Large Blue butterfly (Maculinea arion) became extinct in Britain during 1979. It is now the subject of a large-scale reintroduction programme.
Other names for (or types of) Blues include:
Related pages on this web site
Back to Glossary