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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Butterfly count 2012

Not terribly exciting for anyone reading this but I want to list the butterflies that I have seen this year, at home, so I've got it somewhere safe that I can refer back to again!

Family Nymphalidae

1.   Peacock Inachis io
2.   Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
3.   Painted Lady Cynthia cardui
4.   Comma Polygonia c-album
5.   Marbled White Melanargia galathea
6.   Map Araschnia levana (2nd generation)
7.   Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria
8.   Wall Brown Lasiommata megera
9.   Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
10. Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus
11. Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus (New!)

Family Pieridae

12. Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines
13. Clouded Yellow Colias croceus
14. Large White Pieris brassicae
15. Small White Pieris rapae
16. Green Veined White Pieris napi (New!)
17. Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni (the only butterfly I don't have a photo of)

Family Lycaenidae

18. Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas
19. Common Blue Polyommatus icarus

Family Papilionidae

20. Old World Swallowtail Papilio machaon

Family Hesperiidae

21. Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris (New!)
22. Mallow Skipper Carcharodus alceae (New!)

23. I also saw something huge that could have been a Poplar Admiral (Limenitis populi) or a Purple Emperor (Apatura iris) - I know that sounds like wishful thinking but it was flying towards me high up from the other end of the lake (where there are poplars), and all I could see as it passed overhead were mottled underwing markings and it then settled high up in a lime tree and I couldn't find it again!

I've seen four new species, but to be honest I'm sure I've seen a Green Veined White before, I just hadn't taken much notice of them and hadn't bothered taking photos of them before! We had plenty of Painted Ladies this year; ditto Small Coppers and Wall Browns, yet I only saw two Swallowtails. I also never saw a single Fritillary which is quite surprising.

Daytime flying moths:

Of the moths which regularly fly during the day and spend time feeding on flowers, I've seen:

1. Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum
2. Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth Hemaris fuciformis (New!)
3. Jersey Tiger Moth Euplagia quadripunctaria
4. Silver Y Moth Autographa gamma (New!)
5. Cinnabar Moth Tyria jacobaeae 

If you got this far, here's a few photos of some of the new species I have seen this year, and a few old favourites which I don't always see very often.

Small Skipper. I'd never seen a Skipper before and they
are so tiny it is not surprising!

Mallow Skipper - I saw this twice.

Green Veined White. Very similar to the Small White,
but with obvious markings along the veins - not sure why they
are called Green Veined though, as they usually look grey/black to me!

Small Heath. This was the only time I saw this tiny butterfly on one of my
ornamental flowers - the rest of the time they stayed low to the ground
and enjoyed all the flowering 'weeds' in my lawn!

Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth. This was a first this year and I saw one twice!

Silver Y moth - I saw many of them early September.
They particularly liked the Sedums.

Painted Lady - a summer visitor, some years in abundance and other years not

Female Common Blue on a Lavender flower.
Despite the name, they are not common around here, more's the pity!

One final butterfly that I have not seen in many a year, but saw when I arrived at my mum's house in England. We think it was trying to hibernate in her kitchen.

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) on my wrist!

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