Tag Archives: Chalkhill Blue

Blue butterfly showing forewings, whilst resting on grass

Chalkhill Blue. Photo David Simmonds

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: David Simmonds

David sent us these photos of a Chalkhill Blue he found at Hambledon Hill on 2/08/19.

This is a species giving cause for concern in many areas of its known habitat, as it appears to be thriving on some of the sites but not on others where it used to be found in reasonable numbers.

View of blue butterfly with white markings on the edges of it's wings

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Shona Refoy

View of two Chalkhill Blue butterflies mating.

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona has just sent us a couple of photos she took on 23/07/2019 commenting as follows:

Back in the summer, I watched this pair of mating Chalkhill Blues at Tout Quarry as they moved around. The female isn’t very obvious in the first photo – she is dangling upside down with her legs facing us. The second photo shows that she eventually got her feet onto something more substantial than air! Roll on Summer!

view of a Chalk Hill Blue resting on rocks with wings open

Chalk Hill Blue. Photo: Penny Hawes

Penny caught up with this pristine Chalk Hill Blue at Perryfields Quarry on Portland on 2/08/18.

The Chalk Hill Blue is found on chalk downland, although limestone downland is also used. it can be found from mid July – early Sept, and in flight looks a lot lighter than other Blues. The chequered border to the wings is a good way to distinguish it from Common Blue when at rest.

view of a female Chalkhill Blue on a stem showing all upper wings

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: James Gould

 

view of undersides of Chalkhill Blue on pink flowers

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: James Gould

James tells us he spent a lovely morning at Tout Quarry on 17/07/18 where he photographed these Chalkhill Blues.

The top photo is of a female and the above photo shows the markings of the undersides clearly for ID purposes. Common Blues have very similar underside markings, but the diagnostic markings are those around the rim of the wings, There is a chequered effect on Chalkhill Blues and a plain white rim on Common Blues.

view of a Chalkhill Blue nectaring on Birdsfoot trefoil , showing all markings on top wings

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Penny Hawes

Penny photographed this beautiful male Chalkhill Blue at Kingbarrow Quarry, on Portland on 25/07/17.

The caterpillar foodplant  of this species is Horse-shoe Vetch, and the adult butterfly can be seen on the wing from late June to early October. It prefers dry flowery places with short grass, usually on limestone, but always alkaline soils.

view of a Chalkhill blue showing  small silver studs as in a Silver-studded Blue

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Mark Pike

view of a Chalkhill Blue showing small silver studs as in Silver-studded Blue feeding on gorse

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark took this photograph on 13/07/17 at Badbury Rings not realising at first that it showed extra markings.

You can see there are small silver studs on this butterfly’s underwing, similar to those of the Silver-studded Blue. We have had a suggestion this is a variation called argenteogutta, which seems to translate as ‘silver drops’. The Chalkhill is well known for its aberrations – there was an entire book on them published in 1938.”

Chalkhill Blues can be seen on the wing from late June-early Oct depending on locality and altitude, but are becoming increasingly rare in England.

 

View of a Chalk-hill Blue butterfly resting with open wings on a blade of grass

Chalk-hill Blue. Photo: Andrew Reekie

Andrew photographed this stunning butterfly at Portland at the end of July. The blue shade of the male ups (fore-wing and hind-wing upperside) is regionally variable but in the UK is usually as seen here.

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Chalkhill Blue at Badbury Rings

Chalkhill Blue with open wings on a yellow flower

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark saw this lovely speicimen at Badbury Rings on 13/07/207, which he notes is the earliest he has seen this species there.

We have concerns about the future of the Chalkhill Blue in Dorset; it flourishes on Portland, but is declining elsewhere: a drop of 40% over the last five years is recorded on out Butterfly Distribution Atlas page.