A glorious Midsummer hot windless sunny day brought out butterflies in profusion to the Lonning: Speckled Woods, Red Admirals, Meadow Browns, Small Tortoiseshells, Green Veined Whites, Large Skippers, Large Whites and a surprising Painted Lady (the first I've seen here this year). Moths also were in evidence: Silver Y, Chimney Sweeper and Common Carpet Moths.
A territorial male Speckled Wood perching on sunlit vegetation along the Lonning - defending its territory. A butterfly, once in decline but now more prolific.
These are second brood Speckled Woods - darker than the first brood and currently more pristine. Never seen so many before in this location. They are a butterfly of woodland glades and will tolerate shade more than most butterflies but will visit wooded hedgerows and can overwinter either as a caterpillar or a chrysalis giving rise to up to three broods from March onwards.
Red Admirals are immigrants from North Africa and Southern Europe but early sightings in the year suggest that they can also overwinter successfully. The main influx is in May and June and will continue until August when a southerly re-migration starts to take place. The remaining adults can last until November.
Meadow Browns are just starting to emerge in a single brood which lasts to October. They have a long fight period and are one of the few butterflies capable of flying on overcast days but they do prefer warm weather.
A Small Tortoiseshell, a common resident butterfly, appearing from March onwards after hibernation. After mating eggs are laid on nettles in sunny sheltered spots.
Green-veined White Butterfly nectaring on dandelions along damp hedgeside. In warm years up to three generations can appear.
Male Large Skipper on Cox's Foot, its caterpillar food plant. Single-brooded, first appearing in May/June, are fond of visiting wild flowers. By the end of August will have virtually disappeared.
Painted Lady Butterfly sunning itself on the Lonning track. A migrant from North Africa and mainland Europe, they will have several broods, some on migration stopping off in suitable locations to oviposit. Its main larval foodplants are thistle species but will use mallows and nettles. Here has been seen in large numbers in previous years on Knapweed in our wildflower meadows.
Silver Y Moth, another immigrant, probably the most common migrant moth. Sometimes known as the Cabbage Looper due to the caterpillar's preference for brassicas and also its looping gait. Some years they can be a pest to crop growers when they will arrive from the continent, anything from May to October, latterly in large numbers, giving rise to several broods .They will fly during the day as well as at night but usually do not survive winters here.
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