Credit: Philip Precey
The adult silver-studded blue Plebejus argus tends to emerge in June, and is usually on the wing until late August. It is a rare butterfly generally found in heathland habitats that have shorter, sparsely vegetated areas. It is restricted to close-knit colonies in southern England and Wales. The larvae feed on a wide variety of leguminous and ericaceous plants, with bell heather, cross-leaved heath and gorses preferred on heathlands. Black ants play a vital role in the lifecycle of this butterfly species as they tend the larva underground in their nests during spring, feeding on sugary secretions from its body. It is a rare butterfly which has suffered recent declines due to habitat fragmentation, and is a priority species under the UK BAP.
How to identify
The silver-studded blue is a small butterfly which gets its name from the light blue reflective studs found on the underside of the wings of most adults. The upper wings are blue with a dark outer rim. Similar to most other species of blue butterfly, the male has the more recognisable blue colouring whilst the female is a duller brown. This butterfly, however, is quite variable in its colouring; some subspecies have females with varying amounts of blue present on the wings. Its wingspan ranges from 29-31mm.
Where to find it
This butterfly is restricted to specific habitats in southern England and parts of Wales
When to find it
How can people help
The Wildlife Trusts manage many nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including the silver-studded blue. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities and be helping local wildlife along the way.