Home / Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae) / Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

Holly Blue Butterfly
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The Holly Blue is a small butterfly commonly found in manmade gardens, and are known for their bright blue hue. They are scattered across their habitat in 14 local subspecies, divided into four biological groups, viz. argiolus, kollari, ladonides, and ladon. It belongs to the ‘lycaenids’ or ‘blues’ family, all the members of which have varying shades of blue.

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

Holly Blue Butterfly Caterpillar
habitas.org.uk

The mature larva has a segmented body with a bright green coloration, which is enough to help the insect camouflage among the leaves of its host plant. They also have very minute velvety hair all over the dorsal side of the body.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lycaenidae
  • Genus: Celastrina
  • Common names: ‘Hill hedge blue’ (in India), ‘spring azure’ (the ladon group of subspecies in North America), and ‘echo blue’ (the western subspecies).
  • Scientific Name: Celastrina argiolus

Pupa

Holly Blue Butterfly Chrysalis
wildlifeinsight.com

The chrysalis is light brown with random dark patches, mostly shaped like a shelled groundnut. The color pattern, again, is enough to help them stay unnoticed within the dry leaves of the autumn and winter.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism: Moderately present

Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, the dorsal side of the wings in the male display a bright blue coloration with white venation and a white outside border, while the females have a similar pattern, but with black wing edges. When the wings are closed, the undersides of both the sexes display a pale blue to bluish grey color along with small, scattered black spots (that differentiates them from the Common Blue).

Holly Blue
ukbutterflies.co.uk
Celastrina argiolus
en.wikipedia.org

Average wingspan: 26-34 mm

Flight pattern: Fast and erratic, above head height

Eggs

Holly Blue Butterfly Eggs
wallwork.me.uk

White to pale greenish in color, and laid one at a time

Quick Facts

Distribution Commonly occurs in South Asia from Chitral in Pakistan to Kumaon in India, Eurasia, as well as parts of North and Central America
Habitat Gardens, parks, woodland rides, churchyards, and hedgerows
Host plants Species belonging to the ‘holly’ (Ilex) genus
Adult diet Mostly flower nectar

Did You Know?

  • It is difficult to catch these butterflies since, apart from being fast fliers, they always fly above head height.
Male Holly Blue Butterfly
brickfieldspark.org
Holly Blue Butterfly Images
bp.blogspot.com
Female Holly Blue Butterfly
ukbutterflies.co.uk

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Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lycaenidae
  • Genus: Celastrina
  • Common names: ‘Hill hedge blue’ (in India), ‘spring azure’ (the ladon group of subspecies in North America), and ‘echo blue’ (the western subspecies).
  • Scientific Name: Celastrina argiolus