Saturday, 14 August 2010

BUTTERFLY: Chalk-hill Blues (Lysandra coridon) at Aston Rowant, Oxfordshire

[Chalk-hill Blue male]

August 11, 2010:
Other than the Silver-spotted Skippers mentioned earlier (see below) there were also many Chalk-hill Blues (Lysandra coridon) flying today. Again, they remained mostly hidden when the sun was obscured but once it returned they were soon in motion and nectaring, especially on the Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) which was in full flower. The males were bright silvery-blue on the upper surface of the wings which contrasted noticeably with the duller brown wings of the females. This butterfly, although restricted to southern Englnd, is much more common than the Silver-spotted Skipper and was very numerous at the site.

[Chalk-hill Blue female, above]

[Chalk-hill Blue male, above]

[Aston Rowant: the short grazed grassland habitat of the butterflies]

The Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), another of the 'blues', was also very frequent here. Both sexes are a rich brown on the upper side of the wings with prominent orange spots towards the outer margin. They also were attracted to the strongly scented Marjoram.

[Brown Argus, below]

Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Small Coppers and Small Heaths were also frequent.

For Silver-spotted Skippers at Aston Rowant today, please see below.

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