Welcoming back the adonis blue
Found in warm, sheltered spots in the Stonehenge Landscape, the adonis blue is a stunning butterfly. It's one of the most characteristic successes of unimproved chalk downland.
Preferring to live on south-facing slopes that have been grazed by cattle, they can be seen flying low over the short grass. The adonis blue has two broods, the first emerging in spring and the second in late summer.
The male is a vibrant bright blue while the female is a rich chocolate brown colour with some blue veins and orange spots at the edge of her wings.
The adonis blue lays its eggs under the leaves of the horseshoe vetch plant in May-June and again in August-September.
The caterpillers have a symbiotic relationship with ants. They actively search for ants to care for them and provide a reward of a sugary milk secretion that the ants consume. When the caterpillar turns into a chrysalis it is buried by the ants who constantly attend to it and protect it from predators until it emerges as a butterfly.
Like many other species of butterflies, the adonis blue has undergone a major decline but we are delighted to say that it was once again recorded in the Stonehenge Landscape in 2019 for the first time in ten years.