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Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire - Branch Logo featuring the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.Butterfly Conservation.

Butterflies - Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

The Holly Blue is frequently seen in suburban gardens where its larval foodplants (Holly and Ivy) occur.

The adult Holly Blue emerges early in spring, well before any other blue butterflies. Unlike other blues, the Holly Blue tends to fly high up around trees and bushes in full sunlight. The males can sometimes be found at ground level taking salts from dried up puddles in summer.

In flight, these butterflies have a silvery appearance.

  • Larval Food Plants
  • Habitat
  • Status
  • Key Sites
  • Links
  • Photographs

Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
Eggs laid and larvae feed on developing flower buds and berries of holy in the spring - April to June.

Ivy (Hedera helix)
Eggs laid and larvae feed on developing flower buds and berries of Ivy in the autumn - August to September.

Can be found almost anywhere, even in city centres. Gardens, public parks, disused railway lines, hedgerows, field margins and woodland rides where both Ivy and Holly (the larval foodplant) can be found are the best places to find this butterfly.

Resident in Warwickshire.

Swift Valley (WWT Reserve)
Hampton Wood and Meadow (WWT Reserve)
Harbury Spoilbank (WWT Reserve)
Stockton Cutting (WWT Reserve)
Welches Meadow (WWT Reserve)
Henley Sidings (WWT Reserve)

Find out more about the Holly Blue online at the following links;

Flight Chart
The flight chart below is based on observations of the adult Holly Blue butterfly in Warwickshire between 2005 and 2008. Peak periods are shown in dark green.

Holly Blue Flight Chart

Distribution Maps

Holly Blue - 2011 records / distribution. Holly Blue - 2010 records / distribution. Holly Blue - 2000 to 2009 records / distribution.
2011 (1yr) 2010 (1yr) 2000-09 (10yr)

Holly BlueHolly Blue © Steven Cheshire

Annual First Sightings
First sighting dates are based on records of Holly Blue submitted online. Please note that these dates are not updated retrospectively to include records submitted to the branch recorder in other forms.

07/04/2018 Bidford on Avon

02/04/2017 Leamington Spa & Bedwort

21/04/2016 South Street, Atherstone

08/04/2015 Coventry

29/03/2014 Warwick

20/04/2013 Warwick

27/03/2012 Farnborough, The Inn

03/04/2011 Oversley Wood

13/04/2010 Hillmorton, Rugby. (Garden 174)

03/04/2009 Middleton Hall

16/04/2008 Wolston

06/04/2007 Focus Optics, Corley

Other Species

Please select an alternative species from the list below.