Archive for butterfly

Summer!

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , , on 19 August 2012 by bramblejungle

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) The warm weather may be short-lived, but it has brought a few more butterflies, including this Small Tortoiseshell. These are usually common throughout the UK, and overwinter as adults – emerging from hibernation in the spring. This year I haven’t seen any locally until now; I can only guess that the emergent adults stayed under cover in the April rain, but somehow managed to breed to produce the summer adults (one Small Tortoiseshell doesn’t make a summer, but I hope there will be more).
Brimstones have a similar life-cycle, hibernating as adults and producing a new generation in the summer, so it’s good to see a few of these now: Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Many butterflies and moths seen in the UK are migratory, including Red Admirals (see 28 July), and we’re now getting significant numbers of Silver-Y moths, feeding on nectar in the evenings Silver Y (Autographa gamma)

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June highlights

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , on 3 July 2010 by bramblejungle

Most of the species I saw this time last year are still in evidence, including nymphs of bush crickets (speckled and oak):
Speckled Bush Cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima)
Oak Bush Cricket ( Meconema thalassinum) nymph
and shield bugs:
Palomena prasina nymph
Hawthorn shield bug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale) nymphs

The usual moths have appeared; here’s one (the Common Footman) I hadn’t seen before:
Common Footman (Eilema lurideola)

In West Hagbourne I spotted a Marbled White butterfly from a distance,
Marbled White (Melanargia galathea)

and back home a new weevil put in an appearance:
Green weevil (Pachyrhinus lethierrei)

Good news on hedgehogs, too:
Late-night visitor

A slow start

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , , , , , on 14 April 2010 by bramblejungle

Spring is here, just about, but temperatures are barely reaching double figures because of a north-easterly wind, and smaller wildlife is emerging slowly.
Near the new allotments, the wild comfrey is being eaten to the ground by caterpillars. These turn out to be the larvae of the Scarlet Tiger Moth, which I’ve never seen: UK Moths have a picture.
Scarlet Tiger Moth (Callimorpha dominula) caterpillar

The lawn is gradually being patterned with mining bee nests like last year’s),

and a small tortoiseshell butterfly has made it out of hibernation:
Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

Hiding in the compost bin are a small shield bug and a 14-spot ladybird (the yellow background is a banana skin).
Shieldbug (Legnotus limbosus)
14-spot ladybird (Propylea 14-punctata)

09/09/09

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , , , , , on 10 September 2009 by bramblejungle

Not a lot in the garden last night (except the usual spiders, slugs, snails…) – but I couldn’t miss such a supposedly-auspicious date, so here’s what I found in the moonlight:
09/09/09
Forest bug
Red Admiral
Mosquito

More butterflies

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , on 12 August 2009 by bramblejungle

A few weeks ago I commented that we didn’t seem to have as many butterflies as usual. Perhaps I was unduly pessimistic – things seem to have picked up, with large numbers of Peacocks, a few Red Admirals, the odd Comma (but never when I’ve got the camera!) and – a special delight as I haven’t seen them here for several years – quite a few Small Tortoiseshells:

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Butterflies in flight
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegaria)

Butterflies…

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , on 22 July 2009 by bramblejungle

…don’t like rain, so I haven’t seen many – but the sun shone for a while today, and here’s what I found:

Painted Lady. A migratory species I’ve never seen before, but here in large numbers this year:
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Speckled Wood. Loads of these around earlier in the year – I guess this is a second brood:
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)

Peacock. There are usually dozens now the Buddleia is in flower; today I saw 2:
Peacock (Inachis io)

Cabbage White, laying eggs on “wild” oilseed rape. Hard to tell whether it’s a small or large white, but I’ll see what the eggs hatch into:
Cabbage White
Egg

No sign of the usual Commas or Red Admirals, but here’s a Holly Blue I spotted earlier in the week (frustratingly they always seem to settle with their wings closed, so no chance of a photo of the bright blue seen in flight):
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

And, just for completeness, a Ringlet that I saw a couple of weeks ago:
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)

Life-cycle

Posted in garden, insects, oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife with tags , , , , on 6 November 2008 by bramblejungle

On Monday evening I found a caterpillar on the shed door-frame.

Caterpillar

Three days later, here it is again:

Chrysalis

I can’t be too sure until it becomes a fully-formed chrysalis, but I’m guessing it’s one of the voracious caterpillars seen munching their way through the garden in October

All-weather defoliant

in which case it should become a small white butterfly like this in the spring.

Butterfly on philadelphus

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