Sunday 7 June 2015

How small is a Small Blue?!

Well, it is our smallest resident butterfly, with a wingspan that can be as modest as 16mm but averages between 18 and 27mm. Putting that into some kind of perspective, the diameter of a one penny piece is 20mm, so, many a Small Blue (Cupido minimus) could sit comfortably inside the coin’s perimeter. That's small!

Pitstone (Buckinghamshire): On Wednesday last week, it was blustery with only occasional glimpses of sunshine but that didn’t seem to hinder the Small Blues too much. I was essentially hoping to take some photographs with the butterflies settled on my hand/finger so as to convey their size. It was a lot easier than I’d expected. When offered a steady perch, with salts to feed on (i.e. my skin!), the butterflies were content to climb on. When they’d had their fill, they were off to find a more sugary alternative...

The underwing and feeding on salty skin

Before returning to the larval food plant Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria)

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