About The Adonis Blue Butterfly[edit | edit source]
There are two types of this butterfly the male and female. The male upper side is a brilliant sky blue colour, where as the female's colouring is a chocolate brown with spots of orange, bordered with blue scales of the hind edge.
The size of this particular butterfly is 17mm long depending where it was bred and whether it came from a different country.
The foodplant of this butterfly is called the HorseShoe Vetch
The habitat of this butterfly is on a flowery hillside on limestone and chalk where it is hot and warm.
The flight pattern of the butterfly is from May to September in two broods.
The Species[edit | edit source]
The Adonis Blue has been rapidly declining. This has been due to their habitat ( grassland) disappearing or becoming coarse and shady through a lack of grazing. There are great efforts from conservation organisations and local Biodiversity Action Plans to encourage the populations of chalk-grassland butterflies through managed grazing programs. The recent hot and dry weather associated with climate change seems to be beneficial for this species by making more habitats suitable.
The Life Cycle.[edit | edit source]
There are two broods per year, with adults flying from mid- May to mid-June and early August to mid-September. The eggs are laid singly on very small food plants growing turf. These conditions provide a very warm micro-climate for larval development and are favoured by ants, which tend both larvae and pupae. The green larvae are well camouflaged and are nearly always attended by ants, which attracted by secretions from special "honey" glands and pores. Any ant species appears suitable, but most common are the red ants Mymica sabuleti and the small black ant Lasius alienus. The ants protect the larvae from predators and parasites, and even bury the larvae ( in groups of up to eight) in loose cell at night. The Adonis Blue overwinters in the larval stage and pupates in the upper soil surface, often within ant nest where pupae continue to be attended by ants until the adults emerge.