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Small Blue

Cupido minimus (Fuessly, 1775)

Status

Corfu Status: Present EU Red Data Status 2010: Least Concern

Description

A tiny butterfly, which is almost black in flight. The upperside is dark brown, and the underside is pale grey, with a number of black spots. The only other species it could potentially be confused with, which has a similar underside is Celastrina argiolus, which is larger with a blue upperside. 

Habitat Requirements

In the UK whilst females can frequently be observed ovipositing on the early successional habitats where their host plant is to be found (e.g. areas with exposed chalk/limestone), males can be found enmass in rank grassland, where they lek in an attempt to attract mates.

Our limited observations in Corfu, confirm the habitat preferences of the former but not of the latter.

Larval Foodplants

Mediterranean Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria subsp. rubriflora.

Observations

Only two sightings of this butterfly have been recorded by the members of CBC. The first was made by John Denne in his garden in Arillas at 13:55hrs on 22 April 2015. The second observation was made at approximately 750m above sea level near Mt Pantokrator by Mark Colvin and Harry E Clarke on 24 April 2019.

In the UK this species abundance is directly proportional to the relative abundance of its host plant Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria and in some sites, where host plant abundance is high populations of over a thousand individuals have been observed.

The limited abundance of this host plant on Corfu may go, in some part, to explain the limited number of records CBC has recieved for this species. The larvae feed on the seeds of the host plant and are cannibalistic.

*The information provided in the tables below is based on verified sightings of the Small Blue submitted via this website since 1st January 2021.

First and Last Sightings

Year First Last/latest # Days
2022 05/05/2022 14/05/2022 9 days
2017 17/05/2017 17/05/2017 0 days

Number of Observations

Year Number of observations
2022 17
2021 0
Grand Total 18

Distribution Map

Distribution map for the Small Blue based on the data submitted online via this website will be available below soon.

Flight Times for the Small Blue (2022)

The chart below shows Small Blue flight data by month for 2022 submitted online since 1st January 2022 to 17th May 2022.

Flight Times for the Small Blue (All Data)

The chart below shows Small Blue flight data by month based on all data submitted online since 1st January 2019 to 17th May 2022.

Taxonomy

  • Vernacular/Common Name: Small Blue
  • Family: Lycaenidae (Leach, 1815)
  • Sub-family: Polyommatinae (Swainson 1831)
  • Tribe: Polyommatini (Swainson 1831)
  • Sub-tribe: Everina ()
  • Genus: Cupido (Schrank, 1801)
  • Species: minimus (Fuessly, 1775)

References

For a list of references, please see our bibliography page.