A male Common Blue basking at Brandon Marsh. © 2016 - 2020 Steven Cheshire.
No longer as 'common' as the name suggests, although some colonies still support large numbers.
The bright blue males are most easily seen while the brown or brown/blue females are more secretive in behaviour.
A visit to a known colony late in the evening or during sunset provides the best opportunity to see this butterfly close-up as they tend to roost in groups on a dried grass stem, facing down, wings closed but one side face on to the sun to absorb as much heat as possible before the sun finally sets.
The Common Blue is found in a variety of grassy habitats, particularly where the larval foodplants can be found in sunny sheltered positions such as roadside verges, woodland clearings, disused railway lines, quarries and post-industrial brownfield sites.
The larvae of the Common Blue feed on Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Black Medick (Medicago lupulina), White Clover (Trifolium repens) and Lesser Trefoil (Trifolium dubium).
Try growing a patch of Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) in a sunny spot in short grass and you may tempt the Common Blue to breed in your garden.
See maps below. Distribution text required.