Name: Common Blue
Scientific name: Polyommatus icarus
Nature Stars: 30
About: A small butterfly, with a wingspan of about 3.5cm. Adults fly throughout the summer between April and October. A bold blue butterfly that likes warm sunny places. The most widespread of the blue butterflies, found in a wide variety of habitats including heathland, woodland rides, grassy meadows, parks and even large gardens. Caterpillars feed on clovers, restharrow, bird's-foot-trefoil and related plants.
How to identify: The commonest blue, told from the Holly Blue by the orange spots on the underside of the hind wings. Larger than the Small Blue, brighter blue than the paler Chalkhill Blue and without the black-and-white chequered pattern along the edge of the wings of the Adonis Blue, both of which are found on chalky grasslands in southern England. Larger than the Silver-studded Blue, which is found on heathland, and smaller than the very rare Large Blue.
Where: Found right across the country, but absent from the Shetland Islands.
Fantastic fact: The Common Blue was accidentally introduced to North America at a Canadian airfield in 2005, probably arriving on board a plane, and is now spreading in the area.
Photograph credit: Keith Warmington/www.warmies.co.uk