Common Blue

Latin: Polyommatus icarus mariscolore

Irish: Gorán coiteann

The Common Blue is one of our most common butterflies in the area and can be seen flying from May to as late as October.

Double-brooded in this area, the Common Blue in Ireland is also recognized as a distinct sub-species with the difference found in the female form, which has a deeper, richer blue wing colour with the orange spots on the edge of the wing being larger and giving the impression of a broad band of colour.

The primary food plant is Bird's-foot trefoil and the eggs hatch in about ten days. The caterpillar is fully grown in about six weeks and it is in this stage that it hibernates. The chrysalis stage lasts for about two weeks. Common Blues suffer from drought years and the population can crash after a dry summer, taking a couple of years to recover.

Attention was drawn to this problem on the Wexford Sloblands when, in the summer of 1992, which was very dry, was an excellent year for the species, but comparatively few Common Blues were seen in 1993 and 1994, although both were particularly wet summers.

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