Straight off the back of National Insect Week, we've been sent in some fantastic photographs by Nature's Home reader, Mark Rutter - one of our favourites being this white admiral feeding on a bramble flower. This is one of our rarer butterfly species, and one of the most threatened too. You may well be familiar with the red admiral, with its striking red flash on black wings, but as the name suggests - white is the order of the day for this contender, which makes it a very outstanding species indeed...

White admirals are larger than their rouge counterpart. Found in mature woodland, they need lots of open glades to provide sunny hot spots amongst the otherwise dense canopy. Their larvae feed on honeysuckle which is often associated with woodland rides. They are more commonly found in the southern Britain, so RSPB reserves such as Garston Woods in Dorset, or Blean Woods in Kent are good places to look, but it’s well worth heading to your nearest woodland over the next few weeks to enjoy some wonderful woodland butterfly spectacles no matter where you are. Let us know what you see!

These beautiful images also demonstrate the importance of a very underrated, and often deemed 'invasive' plant - the bramble. The flowers provide many insects with valuable nectar at this time of year, so if you've got a patch blooming in the garden, chances are you'll see many visitors frequenting the flowers throughout the day - just set aside a little time to watch, it'll be worth it!

Mark also managed to capture a view of the white admiral's folded wing features too (pictured). Finally - did you spot the little hitchhiker in the first image? Let us know who you think he is in the comments box below.

 Mark says: 

"Just thought I’d send over several images from my recent trips to a couple of local reserves in my area. Firstly, my first ever trip to Blean Woods where I spent a brilliant hour or so stood in the same patch of nettles and brambles waiting for a dragonfly to land (later to be identified  as a female emperor, pictured). I got bitten all over the place, but during my time there I managed to get pictures of not only my first white admiral butterfly, but also a single, rare heath fritillary fluttered into view and landed a few feet away too (also pictured)"

Subscribe to this blog: If you enjoy reading the latest news and updates from Nature's Home Magazine Uncovered - click on the 'subscribe by email' tab on the right. For more on reserves, visit our Reserves A-Z.

Images: Mark Rutter

Anonymous