Category Archives: News

Help us find Elm trees in Dorset

Mid-brown butterfly with white lines and orange spots, plus a tail.
White-letter Hairstreak. Photo: Mark Pike

White-letter Hairstreak butterflies are quite rare in Dorset; their caterpillars breed on elm trees, so finding the trees will help us find the butterflies. You can help us map some of the remaining healthy Elm trees in Dorset and by so doing help us locate some of our missing White-letter Hairstreaks (WLH) Continue reading


Paul has sent us this remarkable video clip showing a Painted Lady Butterfly emerging from the chrysalis with the following comments:

My partner is a primary school teacher and the school had some of those butterfly kits where the caterpillars live in a pot and feed on nutrient in the bottom of the pot.  As most of the children are not currently in school we thought it would be a good idea to do a ‘time lapse’ of one of the painted lady butterflies emerging from the chrysalis to show to the children.

The video is made up of around 11 to 12 photos a minute converted to video, compressing about 45 minutes elapsed time into just over a minute. I used a Raspberry Pi microcomputer with a camera module and wrote some software to take photos every 5 seconds or so.

Hope you enjoy it -the video lasts for just over a minute but be patient as it takes about 10 seconds to start.

Caterpillar silk webs

View of caterpillars in silk web on green hedge
Spindle Ermine Moth Larvae in web. Photo: John East

The annual caterpillar silk webs phenomenon

It’s the time of year when we get many emails expressing concern about the activities of web-spinning moth caterpillars that appear in spring in our hedgerows and trees.

This year we would like to collect records of these sightings with photos. Continue reading