a somewhat occasional blog

Icarus dances in the sun – Tales of the Railway Bank

There was no sign of a female as the male skipped across the railway bank, alight on a plantain, then a hairy vetch and a blade of grass. Perhaps he was searching for a female or just enjoying the heat of the early summer sun.

The Common Blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) is one of more common butterflies in London. I often see it on green roofs – the are often seen skipping across the roof of the Laban Dance Centre 1/2 a mile from Greenwich Station. Here at the railway bank there is only a few Bird’s Foot trefoil’s, the butterflies main food plant but there is plenty of white clover. So perhaps a female will emerge and dance too and the two will mate. Small goings on on an insignificant railway bank in London.

A little note on the latin name – ‘icarus’ – I love the idea that this small blue butterfly is named after he who flew to near the sun.


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