Holly Blue

This butterfly is quite small with a wingspan of approximately 35mm. It has bright blue upper wings and pale blue underwings with small black spots. Female butterflies have black edges on their upper wings. Unlike any other British blue butterflies, the Holly blue is often seen flying quite high around trees and shrubs.

Scientific name

Celastrina argiolus

Did you know..

For much of the twentieth century, the northern limit for the Holly blue was close to Manchester, meaning until recently, this species was relatively scarce in the city. However, in the last forty years, the Holly Blue has expanded its range significantly, through northern England into the Scottish lowlands, thought to be triggered by anthropogenic climate change.

Similar species

The Common blue (Polyommatus Icarus) is quite similar to the Holly Blue from the upper-side but has light brown on the underwings. The Common blue is also much less likely to occur on the University of Manchester campus.

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