The Chalkhill Blue is a butterfly which gives us some concern in Dorset, where its range seems to have decreased, especially in some areas. We need help to check places where it has been previously seen. Continue reading
Butterfly Conservation – the national organisation – publish an interesting roundup of scientific articles twice a year. 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.
Are you ready for some surprising news? Continue reading
The first butterflies of the year are now appearing in our gardens and if you are wondering what to do now that we are spending so much of our time at home how about a bit of Citizen Science? Continue reading
Shona Refoy from Broadstone, took this lovely picture on 07/09/18, and adds the shocking statement “I was delighted to see this butterfly, my first sighting [of this species] in Dorset this year!” Continue reading
We would like to send very grateful thanks to all our butterfly and moth recorders. In 2017, you sent in records of 36,905 butterflies of 46 species to the website alone! Continue reading
The Big Butterfly Count this year started on 14 July and runs to 6 August, so you’ve got a few days to join in. Continue reading
We hold an annual training course in butterfly identification, which particularly looks at the can-be-hard-to-tell apart families, like the whites or the blues. This year’s took place on 27 May in Cerne Abbas and was, as usual, a sell-out, with 23 people attending.
The day, run by volunteers of the Dorset Branch of Butterfly Conservation, looks not just at identification, but also how to survey and record butterflies.
In the morning, attendees learnt the techniques of butterfly identification. In the afternoon, when the sun fortunately came out, they went out to practice their new knowledge in the butterfly-rich location of the Cerne Giant. There was great excitement when, as well as adult butterflies of various species, a Marsh Fritillary chysalis was spotted.
Our thanks to James Gould (who said he enjoyed the day, especially the cakes!) for the following photos.
Marsh Fritillary. Photo: James Gould.
Marsh Fritillary chrysalis. Photo: James Gould.
In order to help butterflies, we need to know about them first. If you haven’t spotted our Distribution Atlas pages yet, do go and have a look at them; they can be accessed via our ‘Recording‘ page.
Our Records Officer, Bill Shreeves, has done a magnificent job taking both a long-term and short-term view of our records from 1970 to 2014, showing how the various species have fared in Dorset. Each species has a distribution map of sightings between 2010 and 2014, followed by information showing population trends.
This is still a work in progress. We will be adding Dorset flight-time charts soon, and Bill is working on further ways of illustrating trends, and hopefully we may be able to crunch the numbers to achieve some abundance data, too.