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Remember A Holly blue and her egg, my post on 24 May? Well, the egg has now hatched and I’ve had my first glimpses of the larva, so incredibly tiny that, with my poor eyesight, I had to take some macro photographs and look at those to be sure of what I was seeing – spot the hairy larva in the photo on the right below.

220607 holly blue egg and larva

These images were taken one day apart, so the larva can have been no more than 24 hours old at this stage. In his essential publication Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies, author Peter Eeles writes: ‘The larva starts to feed by burying its head deep into the bud on which the egg was laid’. This is the first of four stages the larva goes through before it pupates, so I’ll be checking back regularly to try to monitor its progress.