Hyperactive heat resistant butterfly | The latest news from Vorden and surroundings



Nature

BACK CORNER – People are sitting under the trees and under a parasol, it is too hot to go out into the open field. Butterflies don’t venture out either, just a few cabbage whites. But wait a minute, isn’t that lightning-fast little one a butterfly too? What an energy it radiates, it takes minutes before he or she finally takes a seat on a flower of the knapweed. The grass has withered, but other plants appear to be quite heat-resistant. Tansy also blooms in abundance, to the delight of the insects. Another small plant that has increasingly given color to dried-out lawns in recent years: heron’s beak. Let that now be one of the food plants of the brown blue caterpillars.

By Sander Grootendorst

Contradictory name: a blue butterfly, but still brown. Two other, more common, blues in the Netherlands are the tree blue and the icarus blue. They stand out fluttering because of their bright blue wings. But those of the brown blue are grey-brown. This way you can easily distinguish it from the other two types. Although… the wings of the female of the ‘icarus’ are also brown tinted, albeit usually clearly with a dark blue glow in them.

There is also a difference in the dot pattern on the underside of the wings of the blue species.

While the sun does its scorching work over the Achterhoek, the hyperactive ‘brown’ moves to the tansy to further satisfy his/her hunger. Another flies in, to which the other responds with a fierce nosedive – presumably two males who see each other as competitors. Who knows, there might be a female nearby that they both want to hook up with.

The third blue that reports has sky blue wings: that will be the male of the icarus. Also starts arguing with the other, and they aren’t even peers.

Icarus blues can also digest the heat well; when their food plant roll clover blooms, they are completely satisfied.

They are all busy people, those blues. But as soon as it gets dark, the mutual bickering between the brown blues is over. They spend the night in groups, hanging from the leaves, perhaps from this tansy. Recovering from the fiery daytime activities together.

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