Cupido minimus - Small Blue Butterfly

Image of Aglais io Butterfly

Formal Name: Cupido minimus

Informal Name: Small Blue

Conservation Status: No threat to conservation and numbers have been on the rise

Location: Europe and Asia

Average Wingspan (cm): 2.3

Seen Between: May - July

Description: Cupido minimus is informally known as Small Blue butterflies. They have an avarage wingspan of 2.3cm.

Despite their misleading name, they are not as blue as you would think. On the upper side of the wing, the female has shades of brown, whereas the male has shades of grey and black, with both having a white edging around their wings. The underside of their wings is varying shades of blue with small black spots on them.

Small Blue feeds on a variety of plants such as Kidney & Horseshoe Vetch and Bird's-foot Trefoil. Interestingly, the males can feed on the extracted salts and minerals found in muddy puddles and carrion (decaying animals).

Cupido minimus is spotted between May and June. In the United Kingdom, they are found in the South of England. Across Wales, Northern Scotland, and Ireland, they're only likely to be seen in coastal areas. Small Blues habitat consists of grassland, quarries, woodlands, clearings and disused railway lines embankments. Under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, the Small Blue's conservation status is under threat and is classed as a priority species in the UK.