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Small Blue - Cupido minimus

Small Blue - Cupido minimus
Photo Information
Copyright: Harm Alberts (Harm-digitaal) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 110 W: 7 N: 1968] (7604)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-16
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 40 D, Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/250 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): European Butterflies 9 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-05-28 15:14
Viewed: 3029
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [Dutch]
Cupido minimus(Fuessly, 1775) / Small Blue / Dwergblauwtje / Zwergbläuling / l'Argus Minime.

The Small Blue (Cupido minimus) is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae.

Appearance, behaviour and distribution
This is Britain's smallest resident Butterfly and despite its common name not particularly blue! The male has some bluish suffusion at the base of is upperwings but is mostly dark brown like the female. The undersides are a silvery grey with small black dots. The male has a bluish tint at the base of his wings similar to the upperside. It has a very patchy distribution across the UK with its strongholds on the chalk and limestone grasslands of southern England such as the Cotswolds and Salisbury Plain. Across the rest of Britain and Ireland it is often associated with coastal habitats with widely scattered colonies in northern England and the far north of Scotland. In Europe it is widely distributed, but very local and not common, possibly declining in numbers, from northern Spain to Scandinavia and eastwards to Mongolia.

Life cycle and food plants:

The sole larval foodplant is Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria. Eggs are laid singly on young flower heads and the larvae feed on the flower heads and developing seeds. They are cannibalistic and will eat any smaller larvae they come across. Females will rarely lay eggs on a flower head where one is already present. The fully grown larvae are a pale cream colour and are well camouflaged as they sit on the deveoping seed heads. In the Autumn the descend and hibernate in crevices in the ground. Pupation occurs the following spring at ground level in the leaf litter. On the continent both larvae and pupae are tended by ants but there is little evidence of this occurring in the UK. In the south of England there are two broods, one on the wing in June and a second in August but further north there is just one brood flying in June.


cloud, Christopher_PL, Alutka has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2010-05-29 0:07]

Hello Harm,
Very nice photo of this modest butterfly. Good pose and all the details are exactly visible.
Regards, Pawel

Hello Harm
Very nice picture. I've seen the same species yesterday but I've no luck with photo :-(


  • Great 
  • Alutka Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 131 W: 43 N: 400] (1682)
  • [2010-06-01 14:37]

Witaj Harm.
Kolejne wspaniałe zdjęcie motyla! Tym razem najmniejszy z Lycaenidae, jego skrzydełka mają rozpiętość tylko 20-25mm.
Niezwykle ostre i czyste zdjęcie, z doskonałym DOF i naturalnymi barwami.
Gratuluję i pozdrawiam

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