A Holly Blue Butterfly on the Ivy at Otter Cottage

Lovely to see! This holly blue butterfly was spotted soaking up some sunshine on the ivy at Otter Cottage.

Despite the name, ivy is an important food plant for this pretty butterfly (as well as holly). It’s the first of the blue butterflies to emerge, but generally we see far fewer of these than we do of the common blue butterflies that fly later in the summer. Holly Blue numbers tend to fluctuate from year to year, partly due to a couple of parasitic wasp species that prey on the catepillars. So could this be another sign of a good butterfly year? So far in 2019 at Wheatland Farm we’ve seen red admirals, peacocks and a comma, brimstones, speckled wood and orange tips . With the Holly Blue we’re up to 7 species.