Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Image contributed by U.K
photographer Bill Edwards.
Also known as the Bedford Blue or the Little Blue.
This smallest resident butterfly of the UK is easy to overlook because of its small size and dusky coloration, but also because it is often confined to small patches of sheltered grassland where Kidney Vetch, its only foodplant, is found.
They tends to live in small colonies and are declining in most areas.
They are found throughout Britain and Ireland but are rare and localized.
Small Blue habitats include chalk, limestone and coastal grasslands and dunes and man-made habitats such as; quarries, gravel pits, road embankments and unused railways.
Males are dark brown with some bright blue scales that give their wings a shiny appearance.
Females lack this blue speckling.
Males and females both exhibit the characteristic silver ventral side with black spots.
When courting, males perch on a covered piece of grass or shrub while waiting for females.
During this period, males become very territorial about their perch.
Unbred females flying by will mate with the males without extensive courtship.
Females that have already mated will attempt to avoid other males by waiting in the grasses hidden from sight when a male is nearby.
Small Blues can live in colonies of up to several hundred.
There is a subspecies (Cupido minimus trinacriae).