Fig 1
ADULT: Wingspan 16 - 20mm. A striking blue butterfly that has been successfully reintroduced at a couple of sites within the Somerset area. The upper wing surfaces are a distinct blue with an obvious black edging that is fringed with white. The forewings have several dark markings which are usually larger in the male. The undersides of the wings are greyish with a bluish hint towards the base. CHRYSALIS: Approximately 13mm in length and found within ant chambers. LARVA: Up to 15mm in length. Small and pinkish in colour and found on foodplant. Its lifestyle is well documented with the larva dropping from the foodplant after its 4th instar and after being found by ants then mimics an ant grub. The larva is taken to the ant nest where it is cared for and lives alongside the ant grubs but feeds on them as well. EGG: White and located on Wild Thyme. BEHAVIOUR: A very busy butterfly when on the wing with a liking for lower slopes. HABITAT: South-facing hillsides with close-cropped, unfertilised pasture. The presence of the ant species, Myrmirca sabuleti and Wild Thyme are essential for this butterflies success. FLIGHT PERIOD: June to July.

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