Posted 29th Jun 2018
The dazzlingly beautiful Silver-studded Blue is a rare butterfly of heathland habitats, which will mainly be seen in southern England
Sadly, it's undergone a severe population decline in recent years and is now protected in the UK. Emerging in June and on the wing until late August, the rare butterfly is generally found in heathland habitats that have shorter and sparsely vegetated areas.
Restricted to close-knit colonies in southern England and Wales, two subspecies can be found in its range, while two others are now extinct in the UK. The larvae feed on a wide range of plants, including Blue Heather, Cross-leaved Heath and gorses.
The small butterfly gets its name from the light blue reflective 'studs' (scales) which are found on the underside of the wings. The upper wings are blue but with a dark outer rim - you can tell males and females apart as males will be bluer than females, which are more of a dull brown.
Did you know the Silver-studded Blue's caterpillars will always be found with ants? They protect the ants in return for a sugary substance that they produce.
Image and information courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts