Common Blue, Polyommatus icarus (Photo: Laurie Campbell)
As you can see from the photograph of a male and a female we do get brown female Common Blues in the Outer Hebrides; this picture was taken in Uist, but the females here are variable and can be nearly as blue as the males. There was a time when the Common Blues seen in the Outer Hebrides were thought to be a separate species because they are so much larger and more intensely blue than the same species seen on the mainland. The caterpillars of the Common Blue feed mainly on Bird’s foot trefoil or other flowers in the same family. As a result the butterflies are mostly seen on the machair or inbye fields where these food plants are found. The butterflies themselves feed on dandelions and other open-headed flowers.
Common Blue (Photo: Laurie Campbell)
by Bill NeilNext Section