Brown and orange butterfly with black and beige markings resting on a green leaf

Small Heath,. Photo: Gary Holderness

Orange butterfly with black and yellow markings resting on a green leaf

Comma. Photo: Gary Holderness

Two photos from Gary sent in telling us:

Whilst out on my afternoon walk today, 14/09/2020 on a very hot Ferndown Common I took some pictures of a Small Heath butterfly and a Comma. Personally I haven’t come across many Comma’s this summer so was quite pleased to see this one so late in the season.

The Small Heath is one of our most widespread butterflies, although many colonies have been lost in recent years due to changing patterns of land use.  They are best identified by a combination of size, colour and behaviour. Its pale, washed-out beige colouring separates it from other brown butterflies and like the Grayling virtually never settles with its wings open.

This later emerging Comma should hibernate over winter and then be one of the first butterflies to be seen on the wing in late February or early March next year.

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