Another visit today under a very cloudy sky to Denbies Hillside and after a bit of leg work I caught up with the rarest of our downland blue flutters, the brilliant Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus).
This species has particular habitat requirements; needing short, herb rich turf with Horseshoe Vetch, its exclusive larval foodplant, on sunny south-facing slopes; but its range along the North Downs has definitely contracted within the past three decades. Like the Chalkhill the Adonis larvae are tended by Myrmica or Lasius Ants.
These fresh looking males are from the second brood (usually early August to end of September) when they are often seen in the company of the Chalkhill Blue.
Identifying the 'blues' by their underwing patterns can be a challenge. In the above image the Chalkhill Blue male is on the left (slightly larger with far more silvery-blue scales near the body) and the Adonis Blue male with its browner underwing colour is on the right.
Linking to NF Winged.