Despite a wet June, the Scarlet Tigers are back; not many yet, but there’s plenty of comfey (buzzing with bumblebees when it’s not raining) if any more emerge. Meanwhile these two are working on next year’s population.
Archive for moths
Here’s a graph showing the emergence of larvae and adults over the last few years: it’s not altogether scientific as my observations are weekly at best, but it certainly shows the impact of last year’s cold spring. This year’s rain does not seem to have affected the timing.
We won’t know until next year (at the earliest) what damage the cold spring caused, but so far things are not looking too bleak: most of the common summer butterflies have turned up except for migrant Painted Ladies and Hummingbird Hawk Moths; Small Tortoiseshell numbers seem lower than usual.
Here are a few shots taken round about over the last couple of weeks, including Small Skipper and Small Copper butterflies (common, but new to me), Common Blue and Brown Argus butterflies, and a few grasshoppers, bush-crickets and damsel-flies, plus a linnet and a juvenile woodpecker
I’ve been keeping an eye on the Scarlet Tiger Moth colony at Butts Piece. For several years there have been large numbers of caterpillars on the comfrey in March, and moths towards the end of June. This year – an exceptionally cold Spring – I found a single caterpillar in April, and have not seen the moths at all, until now:
Butts Piece is usually a good place for butterflies, but has been disappointing this year. Today, I saw 4 or 5 small tortoiseshells, 3 meadow browns, dozens of ringlets, one marbled white, and this comma:
Summer has just started!
It seems generally accepted that the long wet spell has had an impact on many species, especially invertebrates, and butterfly numbers are low – surveys like Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count will help to provide an assessment. Some species are in evidence, and at last I’m seeing a few Red Admirals – presumably recent arrivals from central Europe – along with increasing numbers of Meadow Browns,
and the occasional Comma
A few migrant Silver-Y moths have turned up, too
Let’s see what August brings.
The Scarlet Tiger moths have emerged at Butts Piece, despite the frost and heavy rain since I saw the caterpillars in April.
There were only 4 there this morning, but I’ll keep watching to see if numbers reach their usual levels.
This year’s emergence seemed a bit late – but that could just be because they were early last year: here are the dates I’ve seen caterpillars and adults in previous years
|2010||11 April||17-26 June|
|2011||26 March||11-18 June|
|2012||1-8 April||23 June|
(not very scientific – I usually check at weekends, so a few days either way… )
Postscript – 24 June
The sun shone (briefly), and a dozen or so were on the wing.