Mike sent us this photo taken at Providence Farm on 14/05/19, and queried whether it was indeed a Brown Argus as they can be a very tricky species to identify without a clear sighting of the underside fore-wing. The Common Blue female with which this species is often confused, has an extra spot on the lower half of this wing which is missing in the Brown Argus. In Mike’s photo this area is just covered by the hind-wing making correct ID difficult.
However on balance we have decided it most probably is a Brown Argus.
Shona spotted both these butterflies at Ballard Down on 07/05/2019. She says she saw at least ten Brown Argus, and that the Speckled Wood, though the tattiest she had ever seen, was still flying and sparring with another male.
Brian saw this Brown Argus while at Ballard Down on 30/07/18.
Unlike most other “blues”,and this species is one, the Brown Argus has no blue scales on its upperside, both sexes being primarily brown in colour as its common name suggests, although the butterfly does exhibit a blue sheen when at certain angles to the light. Both sexes have beautiful orange spots on the upperside of both forewings and hindwings.
Posting this on a very wet grey day, this beautiful Brown Argus is a lovely reminder of sunny days! Peter spotted this butterfly in his garden at Alderney on 19/07/18.
The adults emerge first in central and southern England in early May, peaking at the end of May and beginning of June, and giving rise to a second brood that emerges at the end of July and into August.
Caroline visited Fontmell Down on 19/08/18 and found this Brown Argus
This is a warmth-loving species and, as such, is often found in sheltered areas or on south-facing slopes. When courting, the males congregate at the base of a slope where they either perch, waiting for a virgin female to fly by, or patrol the area looking for a female perched on a grass stem awaiting a mate. Mating takes place after a short flight low to the ground. When egg-laying, the female will make meandering flight close to the ground, searching out suitable foodplants on which to lay.
Mark took this super photo of two Brown Argus at Alners Gorse on 31/07/18.
Unlike most other “blues”, the Brown Argus has no blue scales on its upperside, both sexes being primarily brown in colour as its common name suggests, although the butterfly does exhibit a blue sheen when at certain angles to the light.
This species occurs in small, compact colonies, and is not a great wanderer, only travelling a couple of hundred metres, at most, from where it emerge.