Photo © Mike Wall

Large Blue

Phengaris arion

Checklist Number
61.013 [B&F: 1581]

Record will require further evidence, at least a good photograph, unless CMR is aware recorder has confidence in identification


Authority:(Linnaeus, 1758)

An endangered Red Data Book species, protected under the UK Wildlife and Countryside Act, and a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, in rough grassland, flower meadows and open woodland in south-west England; mainland Europe. In Britain, re-introduced into south-west England, notably at Collard Hill, Somerset, after having become extinct in 1979.
The only reference to records in our area is as quoted here from Butterflies of Hampshire - "Prior to 1830, it was said to be plentiful around Winchester where specimens were taken and the species appears in the collection of Mr Curtis (Bretherton, 1951; Goater, 1974; Newman, 1871; Spooner, 1963; Tutt, 1905). If this were so, they are the only records of the Large Blue on chalk downland in Britain." As such, this account seems rather doubtful.
Wingspan 40-43 mm. Larva feeds on Wild Thyme, subsequently living underground where attended by ants.

Update: Reference to BoH added, June 2020.