Plebejus argus - the Silver-studded Blue (male)
Acres Down, Hampshire, U.K.
Family : Lycaenidae
Sub-Family : Polyommatinae
Species : Plebejus argus
A variable species that is widespread and often common throughout much of Europe spreading eastwards through Turkey, Iran, the Caucasus, Russia, parts of Central Asia, to China and Korea. It is a small butterfly with a wingspan of 28-32mm and gets its common name from the reflective scales found on the underside of most adults and which are quite noticeable when light reflects off them. Habitat is sheltered areas of calcareous grassland and heathland with plenty of exposure to the sun. Adults frequently roost communally in grasses with heads facing downwards. They feed mainly on species of Heather (Ericaceae).
Females lay their eggs singly close to the ground on or near the foodplant where they overwinter. Larvae hatch in the Spring and feed on the flowers or growing tips of the foodplants. In the warmer parts of Europe the species is double brooded, emerging in May and August. The main foodplants include Erica cinerea (Bell Heather), Calluna vulgaris (Heather), Erica tetralix (Cross-leaved Heath), and Hippocrepis comosa (Horseshoe Vetch). When the larvae pupate they do so underground, often in an ants' nest.
All my insect pics are single shot and handheld, usually in the wild.