Butterflies

Friday, September 20th 2013

Over the past couple of weeks as the weather has turned cooler and wetter, sightings of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies have all started to tail off, signaling a change in the seasons.  Speckled Wood have had a very good year, with large numbers seen across the reserve and surrounding areas.  One butterfly we have not seen much of this year is the Wall, Elizabeth was lucky enough yesterday to spot one (only the 4th or 5th sighting this summer!)

Wall

These butterflies like warm sun-baked areas with dry ground, so it is no surprise after the wet summer last year their numbers are down.  This example is a female which is larger than the males, and lacking the pronounced black band across the forewing.  The second brood individuals can be seen sometimes through to mid-October.  Caterpillars from the second brood overwinter, feeding in mild weather; they will spend about six months as caterpillars whereas those from the first brood spend around 5 weeks in this stage.


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