Chalkhill Blue - Herts & Middx Butterfly Conservation
Chalkhill Blue (m) 2021 - Martin Johnson Chalkhill Blue (f) 2010 - David Gower

Chalkhill Blue

Lysandra coridon

Common at chalk sites

Chalkhill Blue branch distribution

Distribution and Status

The Chalkhill Blue frequents chalk grasslands as the name suggests in north and west Hertfordshire. By the 1980s the only known significant colony was at Therfield Heath but even there it was just surviving. However, with conservation efforts involving selective grazing at suitable sites across Hertfordshire, the butterfly has recovered well with the best colonies at Therfield Heath and Hexton Chalk Pit but it can also be found at Telegraph Hill, Aldbury Nowers, Clothall Common near Baldock and Wilbury Hill near Letchworth. The high abundance in 2013 meant some dispersal took place among male specimens where they were discovered miles away from the chalk

Habitat Requirements

Chalk grasslands especially on south-facing slopes

Larval Foodplants

Horseshoe Vetch Hippocrepis comosa

Adult Food Sources

Wild Marjoram Origanum vulgare, Field Scabious Knautia arvensis, Common Knapweed Centaura nigra. Dung

Behaviour/Observation notes

It is a conspicuous butterfly with its milky-blue appearance. During spells of sunshine it flies rapidly just above the ground in between basking and feeding. In dull weather or during early morning or evening it will often bask or roost on tall vegetation affording good photographic opportunities

Chalkhill Blue branch phenology

Life History

The Chalkhill Blue produces one generation a year with adults starting to emerge in July and peaking around the end of the month into the first week of August. Eggs are laid singly on Horsehoe Vetch H. comosa stems or surrounding vegetation. Eggs hatch in spring in the following year. Secretions from the larvae attract the attention of ants which provide some protection from predators. It is thought that pupae are often buried by the ants in the earth

Further information

Photo gallery
Branch Annual Report (2022)
UK distribution map
Full list of larval hostplants (Lycaenidae)
Stevenage butterflies - additional notes


Copyright Butterfly Conservation © 2024 Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch
Privacy and Copyright Statement and Cookie Policy Statement
Butterfly Conservation
Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP. Tel: 01929 400 209
Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268). VAT No. GB 991 2771 89