Category Archives: Featured photo

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View of an orange butterfly with cream edges to the wings and brown and black markings resting on a green leaf

Small Copper abb. Photo: Andrew Martin

Andrew has sent us this photo he took on 24/03/2020 with the following comment:

Its always a pleasure to see the first Small Copper of the Season. Every year around mid March I check a favoured spot on Southbourne Undercliff  for the first glint of copper and this year was my earliest ever sighting and a bonus its abb caeruleopunctata. 

The Dorset BC records show that between 2014 and 2019 the earliest emergence date recorded for a Small Copper was 24/03/2019 and the latest emergence date when the first one was recorded was on 17/04/2018

View of a white butterfly with dark veins on the hindwings nectaring on a white flower.

Green-veined White. Photo: Dave Law

Dave has sent us this super photo with the following comments:

First walk of the year in the sunshine at Duncliffe Wood on 16/03/2020 and amazed to see a Green-veined White. My girlfriend Agnes saw it first so I can’t take all the credit if it’s a first for the year.

The dark veins on the yellow underside of the hindwings are actually a mottling of black scales that appear green against the yellow background. The first Green-veined White reported to the Dorset BC website last year was on 24/03/2019 so this is 8 days earlier.

View of a black cluster of butterfly larvae amongst dead oak leaves.

Marsh Fritillary Larvae. Photo: Nigel Spring

2019 was a bumper year for Marsh Fritillaries on our reserve at Alners Gorse with a record number of sightings of the adults and hugely increased numbers of larval webs counted in the Autumn.

The clusters of up to 200 larvae spend the winter months in the leaf litter and emerge on their wispy webs in February and early March to bask in the weak winter sunshine. There has been a notable shortage of sunshine recently but these determined clusters photographed by Nigel Spring on 23/02/2020 were doing their best to bask amongst the oak leaves and their larval food plant, Devil’s-bit Scabious.

View of reddish orange, brown and black butterfly with white markings on the wingtips resting near a muddy puddle.

Red Admiral. Photo: Geoge McCabe

George has sent us this photo of the first butterfly he saw this year when he was out for a walk and not even looking for butterflies – spotted at the Coppice behind the Littlemoor water tower, Weymouth on 19/01/2020.  George added that it seemed to enjoy the mud around the puddles!

View of chocolate brown butterfly with creamy yellow markings on the wings in a butterfly collecting pot.

Speckled Wood. Photo: George McCabe

For those of you following George’s ongoing saga of the Speckled Wood which is reluctant to leave the warmth and comfort of his house he has just sent us this update on 04/11/2019:

The the Specked Wood is still with us. It decided the floor was the best place, but we had a near miss when the postman opened the door and nearly stood on it, so we keep it in a plastic insect viewing tub my son had, and take the lid off when it is safe. We leave a window open for it to go but it won’t.