Vi­brant flight

Landscape (UK) - - Our Landscape -

With its strik­ing blue wings, the male Ado­nis blue but­ter­fly is an eye-catch­ing sight at this time of year. Found on unim­proved chalk down­land in south­ern Eng­land, the first brood of Poly­omma­tus bel­largus emerges from mid May to June. A se­cond emerges from mid Au­gust to early Septem­ber. Males are of­ten seen flying low over veg­e­ta­tion, search­ing for the less-strik­ing fe­males, who sport soft cho­co­late-brown colour­ing. Both sexes have dis­tinc­tive black lines that cross the white fringes of their wings. Af­ter mat­ing, eggs are laid on food plants in short turf. Both lar­vae and pu­pae are tended to by ants, which are at­tracted by their se­cre­tions. The sole lar­val food plant is horse­shoe vetch, Hip­pocre­pis co­mosa.

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