Sunday, 27 December 2015

Speckled Wood , ovum to final instar caterpillar

This article depicts the life stages of the Speckled Wood's ovum, larva and pupa which overwinters as a pupa. The ovum [egg] was laid on the 6th September in a very shaded area, with very little or no sun. Some eggs when first laid seem tohave a green sheen to it but, this could quite easily be caused by light refraction and the eggs are infact white. The ovum are also not quite round in shape. The tiny larva hatched after 13 days, and on emerging the tiny larva consume the empty eggshell. There were 3 moults [the final moult, 3rd to 4th instar transition took 6 days, after each moult the larva eat the discarded skin] and therefore 4 instars. When the 4th instar reached the length of about 25mm, pupation took place. The larval stage lasted 73-74 days, [ten and a half weeks] preparing for pupation on the 70th day,  [the larval stage can last as little as three and a half weeks in the summer] and finally started to pupate on December 1st, day 74.

Freshly laid Speckled Wood ovum 
A closer view of a Speckled Wood ovum
The tiny larva is about to emerge
The tiny white larva on hatching
Now 4 days old, and 4mm in length
2nd instar larva, 24 hours since moulting

2nd instar larva pre-moult
3rd instar larva having just moulted
4th instar Speckled Wood larva 16 days before pupation took place.  

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Comma, a small section of it's wing

Close-up of a small section of a Comma's wing depicting the tiny
foundation segments of the wing, layered like tiny tiles.

Sunday, 29 November 2015


The Dormouse is a nocturnal rodent and very rarely seen. So i was very surprised to come across this beautiful little mouse in the middle of a track in Chiddingfold wood at 9.15 in the morning on July 2010.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Dew drops [part 2]

Dew drops, Small Skipper
Dew drops, Nature's Jewels
Dew drops, Pigeon feather

Dew drops [part 1]

Dew drops, Marbled White, male
Dew drops, reflections
Dew drops, Wild Rose Hip

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Clouded Yellow, early stages, pupa, butterfly [part 2]

The Clouded Yellow pupa stage lasts between 2-3 weeks depending on the weather, hot, cold etc. but it makes a few body/colour changes along the way until the butterfly finally emerges.
Clouded Yellow 5th instar larva ready to pupate
4 hours later the pupation stage of the life cycle is well under way
Two days later the Clouded Yellow pupa has taken on a yellowish/green appearance
4 days into pupation, the Clouded Yellow pupa is now a lovely green and, stays this
colour for about a week
The Clouded Yellow pupa 4 days before the emergence of the butterfly 
Clouded Yellow pupa two days before the emergence of the butterfly, which can now be clearly
identified as a female
The empty pupal casing after the Clouded Yellow has emerged
Female Clouded Yellow
Male Clouded Yellow

Clouded Yellow, early stages, ovum, larva [part 1]

The Clouded Yellow is a frequent visiter to our shores especially in the south of England in small numbers but, some years can produce very large influxes of these butterflies, crossing the English Channel in early Spring. Once mated, the females will normally start laying their ovum in May and the resulting butterflies from these eggs will go on to produce a second brood, flying Late September, early October.
The female Clouded Yellows will normally lay their eggs on Red Clover and Bird's-foot Trefoil two of the commoner plants used in the United Kingdom.
The ovum is a yellowy/white when first laid, normallyon the underside of the chosen leaf
After about 4 days the ovum turns an orangey/redin colour
The tiny 1st instar Clouded Yellow larva emerges after about 7 days, once the ovum has
 turned a bluey/grey
1st instar Clouded Yellow larva showing typical feeding damage to the Clover leaf
by a 1st instar caterpillar
Late 2nd instar Clouded Yellow larva devours the leaf from the top, and works its way down
3rd instar Clouded Yellow larva, when the Clouded Yellow larva passes it's droppings [Frass]
the larva fires it from it's abdomen like a cannon ball getting it as far away from the larva as possible
as the Frass gives off an odour and, so it helps to prevent predators from detecting the
whereabouts of the caterpillar
4th instar Clouded Yellow larva
5th instar preparing for pupation, the larval stage lasts about 4 weeks

Thursday, 29 October 2015


The Wall was once found over much of Southern England, but now normally only found around the British coastland.
Female Wall on Scabious
Female Wall showing the tops of her wings

Monday, 26 October 2015

Bath White, Turkey

Once a common butterfly in Britain, but now sadly extinct. This species was a much prized, and collected butterfly by the victorians, which brought the downfall of this butterfly. But it is still very widespread in Europe.
This female Bath White had only just emerged when i found her

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Lattice Brown

Lattice Brown, Turkey. Normally found flying on the fringes of woodland. The best time to photograph them is early to mid-morning.

Lattice Brown male
Lattice Brown female

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Lang's Short-tailed Blue, female

Female Lang's Short-tailed Blue, Portugal
Female Lang's Short-tailed Blue feeding on Sticky Fleebane
Posing beautifully
Resting on Sticky Fleebane