Our smallest resident butterfly
The Small Blue Cupido minimus is the UK’s smallest resident butterfly. Females are chocolate brown whilst males, like the one pictured above photographed recently at Martin Down, have a silvery-blue dusting of scales near the base of the wings. The sole food plant is Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria and so it is reliant on the type of grassland habitat where this plant can flourish. It favours areas with broken ground.
Sadly this is a declining species, and subsequently a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species for conservation. On Salisbury Plain they appear to be having quite a good year so far and I’ve been fortunate to record good numbers.
There’s more information about the Small Blue here in a post I wrote three year’s ago in 2013. If nothing else I think my macro photography has improved a little.