Common Blue or Holly Blue

  Proclaimer 11:03 17 Jul 11

or something else, which one is this Butterfly please?

And if you know what these are too please, let me know. Thanks.

  Proclaimer 11:09 17 Jul 11

I forgot one...

is this the Female of the Common or Holly Blue?

  hssutton 12:35 17 Jul 11

The first one I would suggest is the common blue, but as there ar more than 30 different varieties of blue butterflies I would need to see the under wings to be sure.

The second is aptly named the Hogweed Bonking Beetle (soldier beetle). Not at all sure of the third.

  johndrew 12:36 17 Jul 11

I feel pretty certain the first is a Common Blue

As for the second I have no idea.

The third could be a female of the Common Blue but the wing markings are so poor it is difficult to say what it is really.

  Forum Editor 15:38 17 Jul 11

The first butterfly is a male Common Blue.

I can't identify the beetle - not my thing.

The third image is almost certainly that of a female Common Blue, but it's often very difficult to tell - it's possible that it's a female Holly blue, but my money is on a Common Blue.

  zzzz999 18:47 17 Jul 11

phwooar insect porn :-)

  morddwyd 21:11 17 Jul 11

Can't remember the last time I saw a Common Blue.

  Forum Editor 22:32 17 Jul 11


The Common Blue is the most widespread of all blue butterflies in the UK, and can be seen almost anywhere except the mountains of Scotland and Wales.

  morddwyd 07:25 18 Jul 11


That must be why it's called "common"!

However like many other common species it has all but disappeared from many places.

All I have seen in my garden for ten years or more have been various whites (though not the Green Veined), Red Admirals and Tortoiseshells, plus the odd Peacock, maybe once every two or three years.

As a lad it would be normal to see a dozen or so species just walking to the bus stop (me, not the butterflies!).

  Proclaimer 11:14 18 Jul 11

Thanks for the help, on that day I photographed the Gatekeeper Butterfly and The Small Copper Butterfly too. Could have been others but they would not pose for the camera.

  Forum Editor 17:54 18 Jul 11


The Common Blue is the most widespread of all UK butterflies in terms of its distribution, but you will only tend to see it where there's a breeding colony nearby. That's the reason that many people say - as you have - that they think it has become less common.

Find an area where they are breeding and you'll often see several hundred on the wing in a day.

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