Butterfly Blues
All from Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex


at Southwick Hill
at Beeding Hill (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)
  1.   2.   3. 
at Beeding Hill (Photograph by Andy Horton)
from Shoreham Beach
at Mill Hill  (Photograph by Andy Horton)
   4.   5.    6. 
at Widewater Lagoon fringes (photograph by Ray Hamblett)
at Mill Hill
  7.    8.   9.
Photographs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9 taken in natural light. Photographs 3, 8 & 7 taken by Ray Hamblett, unknown light.


In my opinion they are:Male Adonis Blue -  Female Chalkhill  - Male Chalkhill
Female Common Blue - Male Common Blue - Male Chalkhill (underside)

Reasoning behind ID's:

1) Adonis Blue - Polyommatus bellargus. The black veining is very prominent in the white
   fringes. The wings are also the very characteristic sky blue,
   but that isn't always a good guide in photos as the colouring
   can vary according to the angle of the wings to the light.

2) Female Chalkhill Blue: Polyommatus coridon. Although female Adonis Blues can look
   similar they are usually much darker in colour. Then again it
   could be a very worn Female Adonis.  What was the date this
   picture was take?

3) Chalkhill Blue:  Classic textbook specimen with the pale blue
   wings going to black just before the white fringes. These can
   almost look white in bright sunlight when they are fresh.
   A chalky blue!

4) Female Common Blue: Polyommatus icarus. Brown wings with blue on them (i.e. NOT
   a Brown Argus). White flecking is not normally present on
   the female Adonis Blue and there are no prominent black veins
   into the white fringes either. Typical female Common Blue found
   on chalky soils in Southern England.

5) Male Common Blue: Lilac Blue wings with no signs of black veining
   towards what remains of the white fringes.

6) Male Chalkhill Blue underside: I had to think about this one.
   At this detail the Male Common Blue is very similar.
   In the following CHB = Chalkhill Blue, CB = Common Blue
   The black spotting on the upper forewing is quite strong -
   typical CHB and not typical for CB.
   Very little showing of the orange linules on either fore or hind
   wing - Typical for CHB - Male CB has noticeable orange on rear wing.
   Male CB has a typical grey appearance on underside, this is off
   white with dark brown markings on rear wing - typical CHB.
   As an aside: a Male Adonis Blue underside will be a more red-ish
   brown than this Chocolate Brown compared to Burnt Umber.
   The fringes aren't clear enough to see any veining.

Andrew Daw

Adonis Blues

Hello all,
          a little tip to aid identification between Adonis and
Common Blues as it's not always clear cut by the blue colour
if the light catches them wrong.

Male Common Blues are predominantly a greyish colour on their underwings,
whereas the male Adonis Blues are predominantly a brown (tending towards
orangey brown - Burnt Sienna to artists amongst you) on the underwing. So
if the butterfly shows blue-brown-blue-brown as it flies past you should be
fairly sure it's an Adonis.  Common Blues don't really show much of a
colour change as you see upper and under wings during flight.

"The blue-brown-blue-brown I have found more likely to be female Common Blues. (Andy Horton)"

The "sure fire" ID is the black veining, strong in the white margins, and
extending into the blue wings, but you have to see them perched for that.
16 August 2002

Andrew Daw
UK-LEPS Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)

Blue Butterfly Flight Times

Small Blue          1st Brood - Late May to late June (peak in early June)
                          2nd Brood - (limited emergence) Late July to August
Holly Blue          1st Brood - Early April to End of May (sometimes lingering into June)
                        2nd Brood - Mid-July to August.
                        3rd Brood - (occasional in good years) September
Brown Argus     1st Brood - Beginning of May to Early June
                        2nd Brood - Late July to Mid September
Northern Brown Argus      - Mid-June to Mid-August
Silver Studded Blue       - Mid-June to Late July (sometimes into August)
Common Blue     1st Brood - Mid-May to Early July
                           2nd Brood - Late July to Mid September
                        3rd Brood - (occasional in good years) October
Adonis Blue         1st Brood - End of May to End of June
                        2nd Brood - Mid to Late August to Mid to Late September
Chalkhill Blue            - Mid July to Early September
Large Blue                - Mid June to Mid July

The British blues have diverse habitat requirements and so it will require
some travelling to pick up some species, even when they are out at the same time.

Andrew Daw
UK-LEPS Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)

Adur Butterflies

Adur Butterflies 2001

Butterfly Conservation Society (Link to pages)