25th August 2015

Holly Blue Butterfly- This pale Blue butterfly is common in parks and gardens (including ours in Sheffield), but due to the fast way it flits about higher than other Blues, it is hard to photograph. Females have wide, dark bands on the upper wing and both male and female have tiny, black spots on the underwings. Holly Blues have two broods in the south and one in the north (they rarely appear in Scotland), but their

Holly Blue

Holly Blue

Two Holly Blues feed on the inconspicuous flowers of Snowberry

Two Holly Blues feed on the inconspicuous flowers of Snowberry

The dark rim of this Holly Blue means it is a female.

The dark rim of this Holly Blue’s upper wing means it is a female.

Listrodomus Nicthemerus, the wasp that parasitises the Holly Blue caterpillar.

Listrodomus Nicthemerus, the wasp that parasitises the Holly Blue caterpillar.

numbers vary widely from year to year. It is thought this is due to the parasitic wasp, which I saw in the same patch- Listrodomus Nicthemerus. This wasp lays its egg only in the larvae of the Holly Blue. Holly Blue caterpillars and adults feed on several plants, including Snowberry, as they are here,  Bramble and Ivy. Conditions: Sun giving way to  more heavy rain. Temperature: Max 18- Min 17c.

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