Blue Monday: A Holly On The Ivy

Holly Blue Butterfly On The Ivy

Blue Monday: A Holly On The Ivy

This is a female Holly Blue butterfly that I spotted yesterday, the final day of The Big Butterfly Count for Butterfly Conservation UK. The black on the tips of the upper-wing distinguishes it from the male. I knew it was female, even before I got a decent look at the partly open wings, as it was laying eggs near the flower buds of the ivy that was growing thickly through the beech hedge! There are two broods of this butterfly seen through the course of the year. The spring generation converge around holly trees and shrubs on which their larvae will feed. They will pupate and emerge as adults in late summer when they will then be seen congregating around ivy, on which they will lay their eggs. The larvae of the summer brood will pupate and overwinter in the ivy, emerging as early as the first week of April the following year.

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor in honour of Smiling Sally
Smiling Sally

19 comments on “Blue Monday: A Holly On The Ivy

    • Thanks Jet ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the story of the Holly Blue and was so pleased to finally capture a photo of one on the ivy!! I’m always trying to inform people about the importance of ivy for our wildlife. It’s one of the last plants to flower so is vital to insects in late autumn! It’s so often seen as an invasive and even parasitic plant so it gets cut down from fences, walls and on old trees. It’s not parasitic at all and doesn’t strangle trees either. In springtime it can be a great defence for many nesting birds as they can really hide away their nest sites from the eyes of predators. I love the way elements of nature work in harmony together when we silly humans allow it to!

    • Thanks Amy ๐Ÿ™‚ I have read that they are found in many parts of the Northern hemisphere but some are subspecies. In some parts of America they’re know as the Spring Azure or the Echo Blue. They’re often seen higher up in trees or on hedges rather than on grasses and lower flowering plants. Very pretty little blues and they seem to be having a good year in the UK! Many of our butterflies have suffered from bad weather in spring and early summer.

    • Thanks Robin ๐Ÿ™‚ The species is found across the northern hemisphere but is known by different names in some places. Sometimes hard to spot as they’re such tree dwellers! Often I only spot them out of lens reach so this sighting was a real delight ๐Ÿ˜€ Have fun on your travels!

  1. Hello dear Sarah, Thank you so much for your faithful comments and linking to my Blue Monday posts while I was on vacation. I arrived home today… tired but very happy to have been with so much family these past two weeks. I am happy to be visiting again as well.

    The butterfly capture is awesome. I have never seen a butterfly laying eggs. Amazing for you to see. I have never seen this species.
    Have a wonderful week.

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