Silver-studded Blue

The Silver-studded Blue is an uncommon butterfly which is protected by British law.  It has several sub species including Southern, Eastern, and Western Silver-studded Blue, but the differences are small and they are not easily distinguished apart.  Many colonies are small, and without adequate protection many are in danger of extinction.  The butterfly needs acid heathland to survive, and habitat loss is having an adverse effect on its numbers.

Like many of the British Blues, the male is the "blue" butterfly and the female is brown.  The Silver-studded Blue gets it's name from the line of "silver studs" which can be seen when the butterfly is at rest with it's wings closed.

These images were taken during several visits to Prees Heath in Shropshire which is a nationally important site, it is a nature reserve run by the charity "Butterfly Conservation".  This site is one of the top spots in the country to see these and well worth a visit.

At Prees Heath, the sub species is the Western Silver-studded Blue.  Although they are nationally in decline, this site is one of the remaining strongholds for the species which is managed specifically for these butterflies. On a good year the numbers on the reserve can reach several thousand, but like all butterfly species the numbers fluctuate and vary a lot from year to year.

On my first visit there were certainly many thousand of these to be seen. but less on subsequent visits, and below is a collection of images all taken at Prees Heath.