A BEAUTIFUL blue butterfly which has been struggling for the last 40 years could be making a comeback, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation can reveal.

The Common Blue is the most widespread of the UK’s blue butterflies and during the record-breaking hot weather in 2018, the butterfly’s numbers soared across the UK, increasing by 104 per cent on the previous summer.

Now, with the country experiencing another heatwave and the Met Office forecasting above average temperatures throughout August, experts are predicting the Common Blue could see its best-ever summer.

The butterfly is not typically found in gardens, preferring unimproved grassland such as downland, woodland clearings, heathland and even sand dunes – all habitats that can be found across National Parks sites, like the Pembrokeshire Coast.

As part of this year’s Big Butterfly Count, Butterfly Conservation has teamed up with Campaign for National Parks to ask the public to look out for and record the Common Blue.

Common Blue males have unmarked, bright blue upperwings, but females have orange crescents and dark spots near the outer edges on a ground colour that varies from purple-blue to dark brown, with a mere tinge of blue near to the body.

The underwings of both sexes have numerous black spots, with white halos and orange marks around the edges.

Butterfly Conservation’s Senior Surveys Officer, Dr Zoe Randle, said: “People should be able to spot these butterflies in National Parks areas as their caterpillars mainly feed on the wildflower, Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil.

“It would really help us if people could get outside and look for this butterfly, so we can see if its fortunes really have turned around or if the Common Blue still needs our help.”

To celebrate Campaign for National Parks 70th anniversary, members of the public are being encouraged to look for the Common Blue and take part in the Big Butterfly Count across their parks.

The Big Butterfly Count, sponsored by B&Q, runs until Sunday, August 11.

Taking part in the count is easy - find a sunny place and spend just 15 minutes counting every butterfly seen and then submit sightings online at bigbutterflycount.org