Celastrina argiolus

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HOLLY BLUE Celastrina argiolus

The increase in distribution in the second and third period over the first one is probably genuine, although the main spread was probably earlier, around 1990-2. Prior to that, I used to have to travel to Gaitbarrows, in the Morecambe Bay limestone (SD47), to see the species; once could more or less guarantee to see it there in the fairly open woodlands in the spring. The warden used to insist that there was never a second brood there - and certainly although there is quite a bit of holly at the site, I can not recall seeing much if anything in the way of ivy. It then appeared almost as though a double-brooded and more mobile strain of the butterfly spread through the vacant space in Cheshire and Lancashire and met the Gaitbarrows population. I wonder whether it is still the case that there is no second brood at Gaitbarrows? In most localities, the second brood now appears more numerous than the first.

The butterfly occurs in city parks and gardens, and also in woodlands and along tree lines in more open countryside.

THE THREE PERIODS COMPARED

PERIOD 1 (1940-1994) WITH RECORDING COVERAGE, ALTITUDE AND URBAN COVER

PERIOD 2 (1995-2000) WITH RECORDING COVERAGE, ALTITUDE AND URBAN COVER

PERIOD 3 (2001-2007) WITH RECORDING COVERAGE, ALTITUDE AND URBAN COVER

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