Small Blue

The Small Blue is the smallest of all the British butterfly species, with a length of between 10 and 12mm it is indeed very small.  The Wingspan being around 27mm.  It has two flight periods each year, the first being late May / early June and then their is often a second flight period in mid August.  Although the Small Blue is from the "blue family of butterflies", they are not very blue in colour, the male is more of a silver grey colour, and the female is actually quite brown.

They live in colonies which vary in size from a dozen to a few hundred, and to see a Small Blue, you need to go to a colony, they are rarer seen by accident.  But there are quite a few colonies where this butterfly can be seen, mostly they are found in small grassy sites that tend to be well established sun traps.  These are usually on either chalk or limestone.  Their food plant is Kidney Vetch where the Small Blue lays eggs.  But it can be found resting on any warm area.

The Small Blue is generally a declining species, but it has been successfully reintroduced into a few areas of suitable habitat where Kidney Vetch has been planted especially for the species.  The first time I saw Small Blue Butterflies it was in Bedfordshire, but Warwickshire is also an area where the Small Blue can be found at several sites.  The images below are from several visits to Warwickshire Small Blue colonies where I was especially targeting photographs of this tiny butterfly.

The above image shows just how small the Small Blue actually is....