Lepidoptera The Silver-studded Blue Butterfly – Lycana Agon

The upper surface of the male (Butterflies PhotoPlate VI, fig. 11) of this species is purple blue, with a black border on the hind margins of all wings. The female (fig. 12 of the same plate) is of a very dark smoky-brown colour, often with a bluish tinge, and has generally a row of orange spots near the hind margin of the hind wings.

Butterfly Image The Silver-studded Blue. Fig. 88. The Silver-studded Blue-Under Side.

The under side of both sexes is similar, and is illustrated in the accompanying woodcut. The ground colour is bluish grey, and is marked with a number of black spots surrounded by light rings. Along the hind margin of the hind wings is a row of orange spots, each bordered with black on the inner side, and with a silvery blue on the outer.

This insect appears in July, and is common in many dry, sandy, or chalky spots in various parts of England, and also in a few localities in Scotland and Ireland. It has been reported as abundant at Darlington and in certain localities in Lancashire, but its head quarters are undoubtedly the chalk downs and dry gravelly banks of the southern counties.

The caterpillar feeds on the bird’s-foot (Ornithopus perpusillus), and is full grown towards the end of June. Its colour is yellow or grey, with a brown dorsal stripe, a white line on each side, and pale oblique lines near the former. About the end of June it changes to a dull green chrysalis, with projecting wing cases.