A male Small Blue basking at Rodborough Common, Gloucestershire. © 2008 - 2021 Steven Cheshire.
Also known as the 'Little Blue', the Small Blue is the smallest native British butterfly and is easily overlooked. The upper wings of this tiny butterfly tend to be a dusky brown fringed with white with a sheen of blue scales radiating out from the body. Its undersides are a dull blue-grey colour with small dark spots again with a hint of blue extending from the body.
Males are highly territorial selecting a prominent perch in a sheltered position. The females tend to disperse to lay eggs on the buds and flowers of the larval food plant Kidney Vetch. Males and females are easily found in communal roosts during the early evening as the sun begins to set.
The Small Blue is a Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) and UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) Species.
Find out more information about LBAP and UKBAP species in our region.
If you would like to read the species action plan for the Small Blue, please visit the Local Biodiversity Action Plan pages hosted by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
The main requirements of the Small Blue are dry sheltered areas of grassland where Kidney Vetch grows. Sites must have sparse or eroding vegetation with bare ground where Kidney Vetch seedlings can become established and where flowering Kidney Vetch is abundant.
The Small Blue is best looked for on chalk and limestone grassland, quarries, gravel pits, and disused railways.
The larvae of the Small Blue feed on Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria).
See maps below. Distribution text required.