Monday, January 09, 2012

Small Blue /Dværgblåfugl

Flora and Fauna
 Cupido minimus

The Small Blue has a wing span of 18-24 mm. It is easy to recognize with its small size and the leaden grey underside with the fine spots. Large females might remind of small females from the Mazarine Blue, who is different from the Small Blue only by a more brown base colour on the underside. The underside of the male varies from leaden grey till lightgrey in the base colour, and the black spots might be reduced or miss completely in rare cases.

The Small Blue flies mainly from mid May until first of July, but fresh individuals can be seen through the rest of summer until mid September. The species is most numerous in May and June, and the late findings are obviously a mix of  lately hatched individuals of 1. generation and a partiel 2. generation.

Its habitat is everywhere where the Anthyllis vulneraria grows, like gravel pits, coast banks with slippage, dune areas and other disturbed areas. It overwinters as a fullgrown larvae among plants and moss, close to the surface of the earth. The fodderplant of the larvae is Anthyllis vulneraria. 

The flight is slow and whirring at low height, often down among the vegetation. The males are territorial and sit on low plants with outspread wings turned to the sun, so the silverblue glow is visible. From his lookout the male flies up against passing insects, and if it is an un-mated female, the long-lasting mating begins. Both sexes seek to flowers and are attracted to moist soil or excrements.

The Small Blue is widespread in Denmark and often mumerous in suitable localities all over the country, but is not seen on Lolland-Falster, and it is declining on the Isles. No newer findings on Bornholm. 

Michael Stoltze, Dagsommerfugle i Danmark, 1998

photo Rold skov juli 2011: grethe bachmann.

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