Holly Blue

Celastrina argiolus

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) female

The male upper side is bright violet-blue with narrow dark-blue margins and chequered borders. The female upper side is usually a sky-blue with much wider dark-blue margins. Wingspan 35mm.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) female

The caterpillars feed on Holly in the main, also Dogwood, Spindle, Gorse, Bell Heather, Bramble, Raspberry, Hop, and many other herbaceous plants and shrubs. Ivy is usually the second broods’ main food source. The caterpillar has a special relationship with ants, and the pupae are also attended by them.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) female

It flies April to September in two broods. Found in open woods and woodland margins, hedgerows, and parks and gardens. Apart from the Long-tailed Blue, it is the only other European blue to be seen high up in the trees, mainly feeding on sap and honeydew. Seen all over Britain except Scotland, and is common and resident.

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) female

Photographs of female Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) taken April 2006, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2006. Cameras used Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1.

19 thoughts on “Holly Blue

  1. We occasionally have one visiting the garden, but I’ve not seen one for a couple of years now. Hopefully absence of evidence does not necessarily mean absence in fact.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a similar story here, yet this year I have seen them more often than in the previous few years, although they have not stayed around long enough to get their photos took.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah 🙂 These were taken some years ago with an old Sony Cybershot compact camera. Yes, I have seen quite a few this year, also, and I just love the blues.

      And hey, thank you for visiting and for all your likes! I appreciate it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I use the Sony mirrorless system mostly now, love it and wish I could afford the a7r! Blues have always been my favourites 🙂 I saw a lot of common blues in the spring and actually spotted the small blue at Boxhill this year! Hollies can be tough to photograph when they’re keeping high in the trees so most of my images over the years have been the second brood laying their eggs on the ivy in late summer. I had fun looking through all your posts 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds like a really good camera 🙂 In August I bought the Nikon D7200, which I am really pleased with, especially now I have got used to it 🙂 I just need the time and weather to get out and take some pics!

        Thank you very much 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A good bit of kit by all accounts and you’ve captured some great images with it 🙂 You seem to get the very best out of all the cameras that you’ve used which just goes to show how well you know your subjects!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you, Sarah 🙂 Some of its just getting yourself out there amongst the natural world, which I love to do, with my camera handy, and some of it is luck, and some things just present themselves when you are least expecting it! I am also still learning, on that curve, each day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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