Small Copper. Photo: Adrian Read
Adrian photographed this lovely Small Copper at Higher Hyde on 23/09/17.
This butterfly can be seen on the wing in the UK from May-early October in one or two broods, but this year a number have been reported in late October as have many other species.
Common Blue Photo: Peter Robinson
Peter captured this female Common Blue at Seacombe on 14/10/17.
It is interesting to note the difference in colour to earlier specimens, a washed out grey/brown rather than the rich dark brown usually seen, suggesting this butterfly has been on the wing for quite some time.
The flight-period for this species in the UK is June-July in the North, and late March-early November in the South. However, it is quite unusual to find them on the wing after September.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth. Photo: Andrew Martin
Andrew took this photograph of a Hummingbird Hawkmoth at Cheyne Wears on 12/07/17.
This species always causes excitement when spotted hovering like a tiny hummingbird whilst nectaring on tubular flowers such as Buddleia, Phlox, Red Valerian, Lilac and Petunias.
Mostly immigrants, arriving April-December, but more usually seen August -September, in the South west they have been known to overwinter during mild winters for the last 30 years.
Interesting to note that they are considered a messenger of good tidings in Italy and Malta, and on D-Day 1944 a small swarm were reported flying over the English Channel from France towards England.
Speckled Wood. Photo: Penny Hawes
Penny photographed this Speckled Wood at Stoborough Heath on 27/10/17
It could easily have been missed as the seed head and butterfly are very similar colours, but what a pleasing photograph it makes.
Penny tells us that there were lots of them present on what was a lovely, warm, late October day. This was indeed a late sighting from a second brood, usually in flight from late June to early October.
Clouded Yellows mating. Photo: Mike Gibbons
Clouded Yellow. Photo: Mike Gibbons
Mike took these photographs of a female Clouded Yellow and a mating pair at Southbourne Undercliff on 28/10/17.
Whilst this species is primarily an immigrant, it is known there is a population at Southbourne on the undercliff that do successfully overwinter. However the majority of the caterpillars and pupa do perish as they are very susceptible to frost and damp .
In good years Clouded Yellows can produce up to three generations in the UK.
Convolvulous Hawkmoth. Photo: Paul Harris
Paul photographed this super Convolvulous Hawkmoth on his house wall in Weymouth on 19/10/17.
This extremely large moth is an immigrant usually seen in the UK between late August-late November.
Its proboscis is very long, making it the only moth occurring in the UK that can feed on flowers such as Tobacco plants, Phlox, Lilies and Petunias.
Paul noticed that it was quivering and ready to take off about 6.30pm the next day, after safely resting all day on the wall.
Speckled Wood. Photo: Lynda Lambert
Lynda spotted this in her garden in Corfe Mullen on 15/10/17
It looks a fresh specimen which is surprising as early October is said to be the tail end of its flight period. However, this year we have seen that many butterflies seem to have hung on for longer, possibly due to the warm temperatures we have experienced recently.
Peacock. Photo: Roger Peart
Roger found this slightly worn Peacock butterfly at The Blue Pool, near Wareham on 05/10/17.
The sedum on which it is nectaring (sedum spectabile – the Ice Plant) is an easily grown , long-lived garden plant, needing very little water. Butterflies love it and as it flowers later in the summer and continues into late autumn, it is a valuable addition to the garden.
Adonis Blue Aberration. Photo: Harold Gillen
Harold photographed this Adonis Blue aberration at Winspit on 14/09/17.
This butterfly was at first easily mistaken for a Common Blue, but further investigation showed that there are several examples of Adonis Blues showing the row of black dots on the lower hindwing. The lack of black chequering on the wings white fringes, usually seen on Adonis Blues, appeared also to be missing on the other examples. There is a suggestion of faint black cross lines on this photo and so it was agreed that they were most probably worn away.
An interesting find Harold!
Painted Lady. Photo: Ann Barlow
Ann spotted this Painted Lady in her garden at Corfe Mullen on 02/10/17.
It looks to be in very good condition so is possibly the offspring of a migrant which arrived here earlier in the year.
This butterfly arrives in the UK every year and breeds here during the warmer months, with the offspring then emigrating southwards.