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East Midlands Branch Butterfly Conservation

Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus


The Holly Blue has extended its range northwards over the last few decades, now reaching as far as Cumbria. It is found in woody parks, churchyards and gardens, basking high on the foliage of trees, and feeding on the honeydew of aphids or salts from damp mud, rather than nectaring on flowers.


The male is violet-blue and can be confused with the Common Blue male. The female has distinctive black wing tips, and both sexes have pale blue undersides with black spots.

Flight times

Generally double-brooded further south, it is on the wing from late March to late June, and again from July to early September. Numbers fluctuate widely from year to year.

Food plants

Spring generation females lay their eggs on Holly buds, whilst the summer brood lay mainly on Ivy. Dogwood, Spindle and Pyracantha are also used.

Holly Blue - © Simon Jenkins cut out picture of common blue butterfly

Distribution Maps for the East Midlands Region

Holly Blue distribution map 2010
2010 Summary
No of tetrads 178
First sighting 31/03/2010
Last sighting 10/09/2010
Holly Blue distribution map 2011
2011 Summary
No of tetrads 227
First sighting 28/03/2011
Last sighting 23/10/2011
Holly Blue distribution map 2012
2012 Summary
No of tetrads 203
First sighting 25/03/2012
Last sighting 06/10/2012
Holly Blue distribution map 2013
2013 Summary
No of tetrads 184
First sighting 19/04/2013
Last sighting 08/10/2013
Holly Blue distribution map 2014
2014 Summary
No of tetrads 210
First sighting 11/03/2014
Last sighting 31/10/2014
Holly Blue distribution map 2015
2015 Summary
No of tetrads 415
First sighting 05/04/2015
Last sighting 11/10/2015
Holly Blue distribution map 2005-09

Combined records for the five year period 2005-09

Holly Blue distribution map 2010-14

Combined records for the five year period 2010-14

Comparison of years 2005-09 & 2010-14

No Data


Photo Gallery

Holly Blue

Holly Blue © Simon Jenkins

Holly Blue

Holly Blue © Simon Jenkins

Holly Blue

Holly Blue © Simon Jenkins

Holly Blue

Holly Blue © Simon Jenkins

Holly Blue Holly Blue Holly Blue Holly Blue
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