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!