Chalkhill Blue !

25th July 2010, Sunday

I had a good afternoon yesterday recording butterflies in Beckley Woods and to my surprise I found a group of blues amongst which were at least two Chalkhill Blues. Silvery underwing shows dark veins crossing the white fringe, the milky blue upperwing shows broad black margin.
Chalkhill Blue

Chalkhill Blue
From Steve Wheatley “As the larval foodplant is horseshoe vetch I don’t think its chances of survival are very high but this could provide potentially very useful information about butterfly dispersal strategies. It’s possible that Horseshoe Vetch could grow away from the downs if chalk or limestone has been put down. One hope for a resident Rother colony would be at the Gypsum plant at Mountfield and Brightling where a natural limestone outcrop has produced a unique soil and where we’ve found other species associated with alkaline soils (e.g. Pretty Chalk Carpet moth).”

(Spoil from the gypsum mines has been used to surface many forestry tracks in this area, including Beckley Woods – Cliff Dean)