Common Blue Topside

12th July 2015 sightings

White Letter Hairstreaks
White Letter Hairstreaks on Creeping Thistle

After our work party, on the 11th July, we were wondering whether the White Letter Hairtreaks had emerged yet, but the following day confirmed they are back in good numbers. They still seem to like to sit on the Creeping Thistles, down near the drainage ditch (near the bench), but have also been sighted near the other end of the site, quite close to the entrance at times. As well as Creeping Thistle, they have been spotted sitting on Ragwort and nettles. An elm tree, by the metal gate, seems to be the food plant of the larvae, on the first lawn.

Common Blue Underside
Common Blue on Meadow Vetchling

We have noticed what we thought was Common Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) at the site and were hoping this could spark a resurgence of Common Blue butterflies.  On a recent visit by the Bradford botany group, the Common Blue in this picture was actually found on Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis), also known as Meadow Pea.  Other plants, used by the Common Blue include: Greater Bird’s-foot-trefoil (L. pedunculatus), Black Medick (Medicago lupulina), Common Restharrow (Ononis repens), White Clover (Trifolium repens) and Lesser Trefoil (T. dubium).  We are hoping to receive a species list from the botanist’s visit so hopefully this will give us some more information.

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