Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Purple Emperor

The largest of our butterflies in the U.K. and, the most sought after. The Purple Emperor spends most of it's life in the canopy of Oak Trees, fighting with other males and, seeking out females in which to mate with.

But occasionally the males desend to the ground to take in salts/minerals to replenish their energy levels. They get this from a number of sources, including damp ground, Horse droppings, Dog poo, and, Fox Sprat, [one of their favourites] to name a few. This provides the best opportunity for butterfly enthusiasts/photographers to get a photo of this elusive butterfly.

Once mated the females lay their eggs, [ova, ovum] on the top of Sallow leaves. They hatch after about two weeks and overwinter as a larva, resuming feeding in early Spring. The butterflies start to emerge anywhere between the last week of June and the fist two weeks of July, all depending on the weather. They are single brooded and fly until late August.

Male Purple Emperor with it's wings closed, taking salts/minerals from the damp ground

Male Purple Emperor with it's wings opened out

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