Large Blue!

Maculinea arion

Daneway Banks, Gloucestershire Cotswolds

A conservation success story!  Extinct in the UK since the 1970s, and on this particular site since the 1950s (over-collecting, and misunderstood habitat requirements – grass of the right length to promote both the food-plant and the ant-species whose grubs it also feeds on as an overwintering larva), a reintroduction programme has borne considerable fruit and several good-sized colonies of this beautiful Lycaenid now thrive.

This is still one of the UK’s rarest butterflies, and one of the most beautiful.  Luckily I live just over an hour’s drive from one of the colonies, so I had to get out there the other week to search for them – happily a handful of individuals were seen.  I’m still looking to get a top-side view, but side-on they’re not half bad.


Nikon D800E/200f4micro/cpl/SB600+softbox
ISO 1600 1/320 f/16 handheld

(steep banks and flightiness put paid to very much successful tripod work)

The blog for the most well-known site for this species, at Collard Hill in Somerset, can be seen here.  The flight-season is still ongoing – if you have an opportunity, they’re well worth a day out.




One thought on “Large Blue!

  1. Pingback: Wildlife Crime | DWFNaturePhoto

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