A greenish brown and orange butterfly with black markings nectaring on a white flower

Silver-washed Fritillary. Photo: Gary Holderness

A brown butterfly with orange, white and black markings on a yellow flower

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Gary Holderness

Here are two more of the photos Gary sent in from his day at Alners Gorse on 23/07/21 – a Silver-washed Fritillary and a Purple Hairstreak.

Silver-washed Fritillary and Purple Hairstreak, Alners Gorse
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

Vapourer moth Caterpillar. Photo: Johanna Williams

Johanna’s 10 year old son was very observant as on 12/07/21 he spotted this tiny Vapourer moth caterpillar on a wisteria plant by their front door in Southbourne.

Johanna says it was just 1 cm long, so maybe it is an early stage and that is why is is particularly fluffy and not the colour as shown in the reference book , Field Guide to Caterpillars of Great Britain and Ireland

Vapourer moth caterpillar, Southbourne
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

Scarlet Tigers, mating. Photo: Lyn Pullen

Seen in her Winfrith Newburgh garden on 12/07/21 Lyn tells us:

I’d seen a Scarlet Tiger moth flying around for a couple of days, so when I saw this flash of colour in a shady area I didn’t take much notice of it, but something made me look again, to see it was a mating pair. The eggs hatch in about seven days, so I’m now on the lookout for their very striking caterpillars.

Scarlet Tigers, Winfrith Newburgh
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

Small Purple-barred moth. Photo: Paul Swann

Paul found this Purple-barred moth at Creech Heath on 14/07/21.

This species comes in several colour forms, this one being F. aenea(Hb) . Flies mainly in sunshine, late May-July, but sometimes after dark when it come to light.

Small Purple barred moth, Creech Heath
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

Ghost Moth. Photo: Julie Harriss

Julie was holidaying with friends in a cottage on the  Symondesbury Estate, Bridport on 20/07/21 when they suddenly had a visitor one evening.  She tells us:

It’s wings were moving so quickly we only saw it’s fluffy head when it stopped for a rest!

I was unsure of the ID so thanks to Paul Harris who confirmed it was a Ghost moth as I suspected. This is a female denoted by the yellow colour as males are white.

Males have a habit of ‘lekking’ in great numbers, swaying to and fro as if attached to a pendulum,  and releasing a goat like scent which attracts the female.

It has one generation June -early August.

Ghost Moth, Bridport
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

A view of two butterflies, one brown with white, black and orange markings and the other greyish with orange, black and white markings

Brown and Purple Hairstreaks. Photo: Mike Kirby

View of a brown and purplish blue butterfly resting on green leaves

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Mike Kirby

Two more photos from Mike sent in telling us:

On a visit to Alners Gorse yesterday, 26/07/2021 I saw plenty of Purple Hairstreaks around. The Brown Hairstreaks are starting to show too – it was particularly pleasing to get one of each in this photo!

Purple and Brown Hairstreaks, Alners Gorse
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

View of a brown and purple butterfly with orange, white and black markings resting on the rear window of a car

Purple Emperor. Photo: James LeRouge

A brown, purple and orange butterfly with black and white markings resting on the rear window of a car

Purple Emperor. Photo: James LeRouge

James sent in these photos telling us of his remarkable encounter with Purple Emperors:

Last Wednesday, 21/07/2021 I took a lovely walk around the magical site of Garston Wood RSPB.  The first thing I saw was a Purple Emperor swooping high above oak and ash trees then after doing a few circuits of the northern part of the wood, I returned to the car park to find “his majesty” settled on my rear spoiler!  As I got closer, I was then assaulted by a very fresh male Purple Emperor who beat his wings silly in my face, landed on my hat, my face and then my trousers, an incredible experience with a bezerko butterfly!

Purple Emperor, Garston Wood
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

A view of a two white butterflies with black markings, one with some red mites attached to it

Marbled White. Photo: Bryan Roberts

This photo showing a mating pair of Marbled White butterflies was taken by Bryan on 22/07/2021 along the coastal strip between Ringstead and Lulworth.

The red blobs on them are mites called trombidium breei.  They do not seem to harm the butterfly and some species are more prone to them than others – ones that are often seen with red mites include Meadow Brown males, Marbled Whites, Common Blues and Small Skippers.

Marbled White, Ringstead
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

A brown butterfly with white, orange and black markings on a green leaf

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Brian Arnold

View of a perching brown butterfly with some pale markings

Purple Hairstreak. Photo: Brian Arnold

Two photos from Brian sent in telling us:

We went to Alners Gorse on 25/07/2021, quite late to try and catch the Purple Hairstreak when they are more settled, hoping to get an upper side shot, but although we saw quite a lot of them I could not get an upper side photo. I have found in the past that late afternoon can be easier for the photos. We did see one very briefly open its wings and saw a flash of purple, but it closed them immediately. Then one perched high up with wings open – way out of reach, but I did get a silhouette picture.

Purple Hairsteak, Alners Gorse
Posted on: 28 July, 2021

An orange and brown butterfly with black and white markings on a purple flower

Painted Lady. Photo: Brian Arnold

Brian sent in this saying:

I was at Durlston today, 26/07/2021 helping a couple from Reading look for Lulworth Skippers and we found this “Super Fresh” in perfect condition Painted Lady. Really brightened my day.

Painted Lady, Durlston
Posted on: 27 July, 2021

More photos: Gallery archive