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Ypsolopha alpella. Photo: Paul Harris
Paul had a nice surprise when he checked his Weymouth garden moth trap back on 9/08/18. He found this rare micro moth, Ypsolopha alpella, FL. 7-9 mm, very local in Dorset and a new species for Paul’s garden records.
It is single brooded ,July/October and Oak trees are the caterpillars foodplant.
Paul often posts moth photos on twitter and @paulUpwey in the Twitter search box will find him.
Caroline sent us this photo of a White-letter Hairstreak which she photographed at Alners Gorse at the end of June 2018.
This is a particularly lovely shot allowing us to clearly see its markings as this is one of our more elusive butterflies often found flitting high in the treetops, and appearing as a dark speck against the sky. It gets its name from the letter “W” that is formed from a series of white lines found on the underside of the hindwings.
Shona came across these Clouded Yellows at Ballard Down on 2/11/18 which is rather late in the season to see this species in this location. However this year seems to have been an exceptional year for late butterfly sightings in general.
Shona tells us that this pair did not mate, despite the males’s frequent attempts, and you can see in the above photo, the female is presenting in the mating refusal position. Maybe as it was so late in the year she decided it was not worth the effort as it would be highly unlikely the caterpillars would survive and find enough to eat before they would need to overwinter as pupae. As this is a migrant species, the pupae rarely succeed in overwintering due to damp and frosts, though on the Undercliff at Southbourne they are occasionally successful.
Paul photographed this Peacock and a Tortoiseshell on 30/7/14 in his garden at Bearwood.
It would be interesting to know if Paul was lucky enough to see this sight in 2018, as Tortoiseshell butterflies were sadly rarely seen in Dorset this year nor were the usual numbers of Peacocks seen. Let us hope we will still see sights as lovely as this in future years and the lack of sightings this year was just a one off, due maybe to the intense heat we suffered during their usual flight period.
Paul noticed these Small Whites mating on a buddleia in his Bearwood garden on 12/07/18.
This year the ‘Whites’ were some of the most frequently seen species in gardens.
An interesting fact is that it is believed that this butterfly can fly up to 100 miles in its lifetime although, undoubtedly, most butterflies will only travel a mile or two. Evidence of the mobility of this species comes from a misguided introduction in Melbourne in 1939. three years after its introduction, the species had reached the west coast of Australia some 1,850 miles away in only 25 generations.
I was busy photographing fungi in Delph Woods near Broadstone today (25/11/18) and came across this superb Merveille du jour just sitting quietly on a fallen Beech trunk, complete with water droplets on its head! It is a tad late for these as their flight time is generally Sept/Oct.
What a super find Mark,thank you for sharing it with us.
Posting this on a very wet grey day, this beautiful Brown Argus is a lovely reminder of sunny days! Peter spotted this butterfly in his garden at Alderney on 19/07/18.
The adults emerge first in central and southern England in early May, peaking at the end of May and beginning of June, and giving rise to a second brood that emerges at the end of July and into August.