Silver-studded Blues explosion

Two butterflies, one blue with black and white markings and the other brown with black, white and orange markings on a green bush
Silver-studded Blues. Photo: Shona Refoy

At last an explosion in butterfly numbers – at least in the numbers of one particular species at one Dorset site.

Two butterflies, one blue with black and white markings and the other brown with black, white and orange markings on a green bush

Silver-studded Blues. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona Refoy has told us that Higher Hyde Heath was alive with Silver-studded Blues yesterday morning, 14/06/2023 – she counted 570, but told us there were far more than that!  This included many mating pairs with some being hassled by other males as shown in the photo above.

The male in the following photo, below the mating pair, is being tended by ants, which Shona presumes means that he is newly emerged.

Three butterflies, one blue and greyish with black, white and orange markings and the others brown and blue with black, white and orange markings

Silver-studded Blues. Photo: Shona Refoy

Bearing in mind the low counts of most butterfly species so far this year, I thought I should check with Shona that her finger hadn’t slipped on her computer keyboard when she was entering the number “570” and she replied confirming that she really did count 570 SSB’s.  She added she suspected that there were a lot more that she didn’t count as she didn’t go all over the Heath.

It was a wonderful sight, she said, especially in a year when so many species are faring so badly – adding that all she is seeing in her own garden is one Holly Blue..

What an amazing and surprise this sighting must have been for Shona and our thanks to her for sharing this information with us.

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