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Common Blue (Polyommatus Icarus)


Common Blue Butterfly

The Common Blue is a species of small blue butterflies that are found in Europe, Africa, as well as, some other parts of the world. They are commonly found flying across meadows and shrubby areas between May and October.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lycaenidae
  • Genus: Polyommatus
  • Scientific Name: Polyommatus icarus

Description and Identification


Common Blue Butterfly Caterpillar

The mature larvae are short, green and furry. Like many other species, they secrete substances containing nutrient that attracts ants. As a result, the ants, in turn, protect the caterpillar from predators.


The chrysalis is olive green or brown in color and are formed on or very close to the ground level.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Distinctly present

Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, the dorsal side of the males display a much brighter blue coloration with black-brown border and a white fringe, unlike the females that have brown upper wings with a blue dusting and some orange spots. When the wings are closed, the males display a bright cyan hue close to the body of the butterfly that gradually turns white towards the edges. The females have a light copper shade all over. Both the sexes have orange marks around the border of the wings, as well as black spots bordered by white.

Polyommatus Icarus
Common Blue

Average wingspan: 29–36 mm (1.1–1.4 in)

Flight pattern: Fast and haphazard


Very small, white in color, shaped like flattened spheres with a size of about 0.6 mm; laid singly on young shoots of the host plant

Quick Facts

Distribution Europe, North Africa, Iran, and the Canary Islands
Habitat Meadow areas, shrubs, flower borders, herb gardens, woodland areas
Lifespan of adults Around three weeks
Host plants Leguminous plants including bird’s-foot trefoil, rest harrow and white clover
Adult diet Flower nectar

Did You Know?

  • The caterpillar of the species feeds on the underside of young leaves while leaving the entire epidermis of the upper leaf intact, creating characteristic silvery blotches on the leaves that are easy to locate.
  • A recent study says that there has been an estimated 96% decrease in the common blue population mostly due to habitat loss.
Male Common Blue Butterfly
Female Common Blue Butterfly
Common Blue Butterfly Pictures
Common Blue Butterfly Underside
Common Blue Butterfly Habitat
The Common Blue Butterfly

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Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lycaenidae
  • Genus: Polyommatus
  • Scientific Name: Polyommatus icarus
Published by Poppy Glendening on May 10, 2019.
Last Updated: October 15, 2023. ✅ Verified by: Butterfly Team