Lepidoptera The Small Blue Butterfly – Lycana Minima

Butterfly Image The Small Blue. Fig. 94.-The Small Blue-Under Side.

We now come to the smallest of all British butterflies-a little insect that measures less than one inch from tip to tip when its wings are expanded. Its upper surface is of a dull and dark-brown colour, the bases of the wings being dusted with blue in the case of the male. The under side is pale drab, tinged with greenish blue at the bases of the wings, and marked with black spots in light rings as shown in the accompanying figure. The upper side is represented in fig. 7 of Butterflies ImagePlate VII.

This butterfly is on the wing in May and June, and during the latter month the eggs are deposited on the flowers of the lady’s fingers (Anthyllis vulneraria).

The caterpillars are hatched in about a week, and commence feeding on the calyx of the buds, and soon burrow into them till they are quite concealed.

The colour of the caterpillar is brownish, with a darker stripe on the back, and a row of oblique brown streaks on each side.

This species is widely distributed in England, and is plentiful in most chalky and limestone districts. It is also found in parts of Scotland and Ireland.