Common Blue

Polyommatus icarus

About

The Common Blue is a small blue butterfly which flies throughout the summer between April and October. The most widespread of the blue butterflies, it is found in a variety of habitats including heathland, woodland rides, grassy meadows, parks and even large gardens. Caterpillars feed on clovers, Restharrow, Bird's-foot Trefoil and related plants.

How to identify

The male Common Blue has bright blue wings with a brown border and white fringe. The female is brown with a blue 'dusting' near the body. The Common Blue can be distinguished from the Holly Blue by the orange spots on the underside of the hind wings. It is larger than the Small Blue, brighter than the Chalkhill Blue and lacking the black- and white-chequered pattern along the edge of the wings of the Adonis Blue (the latter two are found on chalky grasslands in southern England). It is larger than the Silver-studded Blue, which is found on heathland, and smaller than the very rare Large Blue.

Where to find it

Found right across the country, but absent from the Shetland Islands.

Habitats

When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Butterflies such as the Common Blue will happily visit your garden and are a joy to watch. To attract butterflies into your garden, plant nectar-rich borders for them to feed along and climbing Ivy and shrubs for overwintering insects. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Common Blue
Latin name
Polyommatus icarus
Category
Invertebrates
Butterflies and moths
Statistics
Wingspan: 2.9-3.6cm
Conservation status
Common.