Common Blue

Polyommatus icarus

The Common Blue is a small butterfly in the family Lycaenidae, widespread over much of the Palaearctic. Recently, ''Polyommatus icarus'' was discovered in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada by Ara Sarafian, an amateur entomologist who observed the butterfly from 2005 to 2008. He contacted the Canadian National Collection of Insects in Ottawa where the butterfly was identified as ''P. icarus'', a new alien butterfly to Canada and to North America. The butterfly seems to be well established and is extending its range from year to year .

The larva feeds on Leguminosae. Recorded foodplants are ''Lathyrus'' spp., ''Vicia'' spp., ''Vicia cracca'', ''Oxytropis campestris'', ''Lotus corniculatus'', ''Trifolium pratense'', ''Oxytropis pyrenaica'', ''Astragalus aristatus'', ''Astragalus onobrychis'' , ''Astragalus pinetorum'', ''Medicago romanica'', ''Medicago falcata'' and ''Trifolium repens''.
The Common Blue A small butterfly found in huge numbers when walking along the hilly countryside in Tuscany. Adonis blue*,Common Blue,Geotagged,Italy,Pollyommatus bellargus,Polyommatus icarus,Summer,butterfly,insect,macro

Appearance

Male uppersides are an iridescent lilac blue with a thin black border. Females are brown with a row of red spots along the edges. They usually have some blue at the base of the wings and, especially in Ireland and Scotland, are mostly blue but always have the red spots. Undersides have a greyish ground colour in the males and more brownish in the females. Both sexes have a row of red spots along the edge of the hindwings . There are about a dozen black centered white spots on the hind wings, nine on the forwings. The white fringe on the outer edge of the wings is not crossed with black lines as it is in the Chalkhill and Adonis Blues, an important difference when separating these species, particularly the females.

It is Britain's most common and most widespread blue, found as far north as Orkney and on most of the Outer Hebrides. Males are often very obvious as they defend territories against rivals and search out the more reclusive females. A range of grassland habitats are used: meadows, coastal dunes, woodland clearings and also many man made habitats, anywhere where their food plants are found.
Butterfly Arch One of many little butterflies that I had such a blast trying to photograph while in Italy. Common Blue,Geotagged,Italy,Pollyommatus bellargus,Polyommatus icarus,Summer,bug,butterfly,macro

Naming

*''P. i. mariscolore'' Ireland
⤷ ''P. i. fuchsi'' South Siberia, Transbaikalia
⤷ ''P. i. omelkoi'' Dubatolov & Korshunov, 1995 Amur, Ussuri
⤷ ''P. i. ammosovi'' Central Yakutia, Far East, Kamchatka
⤷ ''P. i. fugitiva'' Pakistan
⤷ ''P. i. napaea'' Tian-Shan,
Common blue Saw loads of these beautiful little butterflies on my walk today. They may be common, but no less beautiful. Common Blue,Geotagged,Isle of Wight,Lepidoptera,Polyommatus icarus,Summer,United Kingdom,butterflies

Distribution

Male uppersides are an iridescent lilac blue with a thin black border. Females are brown with a row of red spots along the edges. They usually have some blue at the base of the wings and, especially in Ireland and Scotland, are mostly blue but always have the red spots. Undersides have a greyish ground colour in the males and more brownish in the females. Both sexes have a row of red spots along the edge of the hindwings . There are about a dozen black centered white spots on the hind wings, nine on the forwings. The white fringe on the outer edge of the wings is not crossed with black lines as it is in the Chalkhill and Adonis Blues, an important difference when separating these species, particularly the females.

It is Britain's most common and most widespread blue, found as far north as Orkney and on most of the Outer Hebrides. Males are often very obvious as they defend territories against rivals and search out the more reclusive females. A range of grassland habitats are used: meadows, coastal dunes, woodland clearings and also many man made habitats, anywhere where their food plants are found.
Common blue  - Polyommatus icarus  Animal,Animalia,Arthropoda,Bulgaria,Common Blue,Europe,Geotagged,Gossamer-winged butterfly,Insect,Insecta,Lepidoptera,Lycaenidae,Nature,Polyommatus icarus,Rhodope mountains,Spring,Wildlife

Behavior

Male uppersides are an iridescent lilac blue with a thin black border. Females are brown with a row of red spots along the edges. They usually have some blue at the base of the wings and, especially in Ireland and Scotland, are mostly blue but always have the red spots. Undersides have a greyish ground colour in the males and more brownish in the females. Both sexes have a row of red spots along the edge of the hindwings . There are about a dozen black centered white spots on the hind wings, nine on the forwings. The white fringe on the outer edge of the wings is not crossed with black lines as it is in the Chalkhill and Adonis Blues, an important difference when separating these species, particularly the females.

It is Britain's most common and most widespread blue, found as far north as Orkney and on most of the Outer Hebrides. Males are often very obvious as they defend territories against rivals and search out the more reclusive females. A range of grassland habitats are used: meadows, coastal dunes, woodland clearings and also many man made habitats, anywhere where their food plants are found.
Common blue close-up  Common Blue,Geotagged,Lepidoptera,Polyommatus icarus,Summer,United Kingdom,butterflies,isle of wight

Food

The main food plant on most sites is Bird's foot trefoil . Others used include Black Medick ''Medicago lupulina'', Common Restharrow , White Clover and Lesser Trefoil . Eggs are laid singly on young shoots of the food plant.

The caterpillar is small, pale green with yellow stripes and as usual with lycid larvae rather slug-like. Hibernation occurs as a half grown larvae. They are attractive to ants but not as much as some other species of blues. The chrysalis is olive green/brown and formed on the ground where it is attended by ants which will often take it into their nests. The larvae creates a substance called honey dew, which the ants eat while the butterfly lives in the ant hill. In the south of Britain there are two broods a year flying in May and June and again in August and September. Northern England has one brood flying between June and September. In a long warm year there is sometimes a partial third brood in the south flying into October.

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