A brilliantly coloured blue butterfly, rare in the United Kingdom as a whole but quite common in parts of Dorset.
When you see so many Adonis blue (Lysandra bellargus) out on the Dorset cliffs and downs it is hard to believe this is a nationally rare species as it is right on the northern edge of its range here in Britain. At times during the year here they are more numerous than the common blue.
When we first moved to Dorset in 2006 I was worried that I would not be able to tell the difference between the Adonis and common blues. Actually, once you have seen the brilliant blue of the Adonis you will not mistake the species thereafter. I don't think the camera really does the colour justice. I have taken many photos of the Adonis blue and none really seem to truly reflect the stunning colour. What this photo does show however, is that on the Adonis the black veins in the wing run through the white edge, the only blue that this occurs on. The Adonis is also larger than the common blue.
There are two broods each year, one in the spring, usually May and another in August. There is masses of horseshoe vetch on the cliffs here and as that is the sole food plant of the Adonis larvae so where there is horseshoe vetch you may find the Adonis blue.
Adonis was the beautiful man in Greek mythology loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone
This species has been seen at the following sites featured on the Nature of Dorset:
This map shows the nature reserves and 'hot-spots' featured on the Nature of Dorset where this species has been seen. Obviously it will occur in other places too but this is intended to give you a graphical guide as to the species distribution in Dorset. Click any marker to see the name of the site; you can then click again to see more information about that site.
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This website has been created by, and is the copyright of, Peter Orchard, Wareham, Dorset. The website is run as a hobby and the information is made available free of charge to anyone who finds it useful. No responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions in the data and information supplied. Copyright of all photographs on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains with the publisher or the contributor and they should not be used by others for any purpose without permission.
Please note that the data on this website is not the result of scientific research, it is a collection of random observations made by a very amateur enthusiast. The species database covers everything from mammals to fungi and no one can be an expert in all of these taxa and much of the identification is restricted by the quality of reference material available. One person cannot possibly produce the definitive guide to the nature of Dorset and so species lists will be incomplete and there will be reserves not covered but as time goes by so the database will grow and (depending on health and the weather) the content will become more comprehensive as time passes.
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