Tim Melling – Common Blue


Tim writes: this is a male Common Blue resting in a sea of Bird’s-foot Trefoil, which is also its larval foodplant. This is a second brood individual photographed in late August, which is the offspring of the generation that was on the wing in June. I took the photograph at the RSPB’s new reserve St Aidans in West Yorkshire.

The scientific name of the Common Blue butterfly is Polyommatus icarus. Polyommatus means many-eyed, referring to the numerous eye-spots on the underside of the wings, visible here. Icarus was the character in Greek mythology who, with his father Daedalus tried to escape from Crete using wings made from wax and feathers. Icarus flew too near the sun and the wax melted. He tumbled into the Aegean Sea and drowned.

Taken with Nikon D500 and Nikkor 300mm f4 lens with a 1.4x converter at f5.6 ISO 200 1/640s