Sunday, 31 May 2015

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Sadly the Pearl-bordered Fritillary can no longer be seen flying in Surrey. This beautiful insect was once quite common in Chiddingfold Wood close to my home but seized to exist there in 2007. I can recall seeing the last and only Pearl-bordered Fritillary, a male, of that year flying in a small woodland clearing on a warm, sunny, summers day in Chiddingfold Wood without being able to get a photo of this beautiful insect. Will they ever return, to enchant us once more.............
Male Pearl-bordered Fritillary [Taken 2013]
Male Pearl-bordered Fritillary [taken 2013]

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Dark Green Fritillary

This beautiful Fritillary once graced the woodland rides of the Chiddingfold Wood complex near my home in Surrey on a summers day. But sadly this butterfly can no longer be seen here. It was probably introduced by a breeder but it's presence only lasted a couple of years.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

orange-tip ovum, orange stage.

Orange-tip eggs are normally laid on the flower stems, flower buds and the underside of leaves of the chosen laval food plant. But very rarely the top edge of a Garlic Mustard leaf as depicted in the photograph.
The actual size of this ovum is about one millimetre in length

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Wood White performing their ritual

My favourite butterfly, the Wood White, performing what is said, to be their courtship ritual. In this photo the ritual is being performed by a male [left] and a female, [1st brood] but it is quite common to find two males performing this same ritual. So how can it be a courtship ritual?, as everyone knows males can't mate with males. I believe that there are two rituals. 1st, a very short ritual lasting a few seconds, where the male sits opposite a female and waves his white tipped antenna either side of the female and, alternately open and close their wings. This can vary with each courtship but can end in the act of copulation. 2nd, a much longer ritual, [being performed in the above photo] lasting a few minutes at a time. And is performed by males on males and, also males on females. Go to my page, Wood White butterflies of Chiddingfold Wood, 6.2.2016 for a more detailed account of this ritual and other facts on this beautiful but rare woodland butterfly. Thank you.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Grizzled Skipper

When freshly emerged the Grizzled Skipper, is quite a stunning little butterfly.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Ovipositing Brimstone

 The female Brimstone lays her ovum on Common Buckthorn  and Alder Buckthorn. She deposits the ovum on the buds, young leaves or on a twig close to an unopened bud.
Female Brimstone ovipositing on Common Buckthorn

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Large Tortoiseshell

 The Large Tortoiseshell is the rarest of all our hibernators. With sightings on mainland Britain being restricted mainly to the South and Southwest counties and coastal areas, which are either migrants or released individuals. The demise of this butterfly in Britain can be contributed to a number of factors, including the fatal Dutch Elm decease which practically wiped out this species of tree, [the Dutch Elm believed to be the primary larval food plant]. But this rare butterfly can still be found in a couple of places on the Isle of Wight, that are believed to be native to the Island.