Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

January 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

This species is most active in sunshine and use a range of grassland habitats as their territories: meadows, coastal dunes, woodland clearings, gardens… anywhere where their food plants are found. They are frequent visitors to flowers. In dull weather, they roost head down on a grass stem. At night, they roost communally. The male is of intensive blue colour. The male is active, setting up and defending territories from rivals; the female is secretive, reclusive, spending her time nectaring and resting. Her wings are of brown colour, with fire-orange spots near the edges.

The latin name for this butterfly is Icarus. And if the blue-coloured male is an image of an Icarus soaring in the sky with his shiny and new wings, the female Polyommatus icarus is an image of Icarus after flying too close to the sun; and now, the formerly beautifully sky-blue wings are scorched and sooty – only a little blue in the middle is left – while the outer edges of the wings have been set aflame by the sun’s fire.

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