The Small Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) is an insect in the Lycaenidae family of blue butterflies.
The Small Common Blue male has iridescent blue wings above with a thin, black-brown border and white fringe. The female is brown above with blue flecks, like dust, and orange spots. Both the male and the female have a row of red or orange spots along the edge of the hindwing (back wing).
It has a wingspan of 2-3 centimetres (about one inch).
It is found in Europe, North Africa, and Northern China. It prefers grassy locations.
The life cycle is egg, larva (caterpillar), chrysalis, and adult. The female has an ovipositor, which she uses to lay eggs on leaves. The eggs hatch after about 8-14 days into caterpillars that feed on leaves. The caterpillar forms a casing called a chrysalis. When the adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis after about 14 days, it feeds on plant nectar with its proboscis.
The adult butterfly is seen from May to October.
The life span of an adult Small Common Blue Butterfly is about 3 weeks.
Location of photographs: Rueil-Malmaison, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM