The earlier pictures were taken on my wee compact Canon ixus 970IS, which involved sneaking up on the butterflies. This can be very frustrating when they fly off, but very rewarding when they don't!

Since 2012 I have been using a Panasonic Lumix FZ150, which allows me to zoom in to the butterflies from a couple of metres away.



Friday, 17 July 2015

Common Blue, Polyommatus icarus

I have been lucky to see quite a few Common Blue butterflies, Polyommatus icarus, this year. They have all been beautiful fresh butterflies in lovely condition.


The males are a fantastic blue colour on the upper side of their wings, but the underside patterning is quite different.


Many books describe the upper side of the wings of the female as being brown with a row of orange spots around the edge and a dusting of blue scales towards the body. They are also described as being highly variable, with specimens in Ireland and Scotland having more blue markings. We are lucky that the females in this area are beautifully marked.


Although the males are undoubtedly beautiful, I think I prefer the contrast of the blue with the orange markings of the female Common Blues.


Normally I see about ten or twenty times as many male Common Blues as I do females. I guess that the males are more active, seeking out females and defending teritories. However, for some reason this year I have noticed almost as many females as males.


I am always so please to see Common Blue butterflies. They are the only blue butterfly that occurs here (apart from the odd Holly Blue that has been seen). Next year I think I will make more of an effort to search out the females!



6 comments:

  1. Stupendous images Nick! That blue is like velvet. All the images are superb! I can't believe they stay still for you this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maria. I spend a lot of time standing still watching the butterflies and trying to get a picture! Anyone watching me would think I was mad!!

      Delete
  2. Gorgeous blues, Nick!
    I still haven't seen as many as usual and I am always thrilled when I see one.
    They really lighten up our prairies.
    To me females are as beautiful as males, just a bit different.
    OK, I was trying to be fair with the ladies but my favourite pic here is still the last one!!
    But again they are all great especially the mating!!
    Enjoy your evening :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. PS:
    I will explain in a next post on kingfishers how to get close enough ;-)
    Thanks for your comment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Noushka. I am enjoying my evening, thank you, in Cyprus!!
      I look forward to reading about your Kingfisher secrets!

      Delete
    2. Hi again!
      Lucky you... in Cyprus?!!!
      Thanks for your comment I just read on my blog about your Cyprus dragons....
      I am telling you, if you get THAT virus, you will be hooked into something fabulously exciting!!! LOL! I can't wait to see them, some of which I must not have in my neck of the woods :)
      Keep well!

      Delete