Category Archives: Gallery

view of mating Clouded Yellows

Clouded Yellows mating. Photo: Mike Gibbons

view of a Clouded Yellow female showing fore and hind-wing upperside

Clouded Yellow. Photo: Mike Gibbons

Mike took these photographs of a female Clouded Yellow and a mating pair at Southbourne Undercliff on 28/10/17.

Whilst this species is primarily an immigrant, it is known there is a population at Southbourne on the undercliff that do successfully overwinter. However the majority of the caterpillars and pupa do perish as they are very susceptible to frost and damp .

In good years Clouded Yellows can produce up to three generations in the UK.

View of a Convolvulous Hawkmoth resting ith open wings on a brick wall

Convolvulous Hawkmoth. Photo: Paul Harris

Paul photographed this super Convolvulous Hawkmoth on his house wall in Weymouth on 19/10/17.

This extremely large moth is an immigrant usually seen in the UK between late August-late November.

Its proboscis is very long, making it the only moth occurring in the UK that can feed on flowers such as Tobacco plants, Phlox, Lilies and Petunias.

Paul noticed that it was quivering and ready to take off about 6.30pm the next day, after safely resting all day on the wall.

view of a Peacock nectaring on Pink Sedum showing upper fore and hindwings

Peacock. Photo: Roger Peart

Roger found this slightly worn Peacock  butterfly at The Blue Pool, near Wareham on 05/10/17.

The sedum on which it is nectaring (sedum spectabile – the Ice Plant) is an easily grown , long-lived garden plant, needing very little water. Butterflies love it and as it flowers later in the summer and continues into late autumn, it is a valuable addition to the garden.

View of an Adonis Blue aberration, settled in grass, showing upper fore and under-wings, settled in grass

Adonis Blue Aberration. Photo: Harold Gillen

Harold photographed this Adonis Blue aberration at Winspit on 14/09/17.

This butterfly was at first easily mistaken for a Common Blue, but further investigation showed that there are several examples of Adonis Blues showing the row of black dots on the lower hindwing. The lack of black chequering on the wings white fringes, usually seen on Adonis Blues, appeared also to be missing on the other examples. There is a suggestion of faint black cross lines on this photo and so it was agreed that they were most probably worn away.

An interesting find Harold!

View of A hairy Fox moth Caterpillar on bramble

Fox Moth Caterpillar. Photo: George McCabe

view of a Fox Moth Caterpillar crawling across a pathway

Fox Moth Caterpillar. Photo: George McCabe

George came across these two Fox Moth Caterpillars whilst walking on the Southdown Ridge, Weymouth on 03/010/17.

The large, hairy caterpillar can be seen from July to April on heathland, downland and coastal grassland. Fully grown caterpillars are up to 7cm in length. They have long brown hairs on the sides of the body and shorter dark orange hairs on the upper surface.

Care should be taken if these caterpillars are handled, as although not poisonous, their hairs can be a skin irritant and cause a rash.

The adult moth can be seen May-June, usually the female flying to light, the males flying in the day.

View of a Merveille du Jour ,moth, showing top forewings

Merveille du Jour. Photo: Paul Harris

Another gorgeous moth, Merveille du Jour, photographed by Paul in his garden at Weymouth on 11/10/17.

Paul says that this moth was clinging to a garden chair rather than going in the moth trap. Luckily he spotted it! Moth enthusiasts are always very observant, searching around plants and other paraphernalia  that surrounds their traps for some extra species. Unfortunately for the moths, birds tend to do the same, adding new meaning to “an early bird catches the worm!”

This is beautifully and uniquely marked moth is a joy to see, and can be found from September-October, comes to light and can be found feeding on Ivy flowers and overripe berries.

It is resident and is found in broadleaved woodland, parkland hedgerows and gardens, though not generally urban centres.

Overwinters as an egg, the caterpillar appears April-June, feeding at first inside an opening bud of its foodplant, Penunculate Oak, but when larger, only feeding at night. It then constructs a strong underground cocoon close to the base of the tree, pupating several weeks later.

Another example of moths beings as beautiful as butterflies, certainly not brown and boring .

4mm Micro moth showing side on view

Cosmopterix pulchrimella. Photo: Paul Harris

This beautiful 4mm Micro moth was caught in Paul’s moth trap in Weymouth on 07/09/17.

Paul noted that this moth was first found in the UK in 2001, but that this is his first record of it.  It’s always an exciting moment when a new species is personally recorded.

It is predominantly found in southern coastal regions but occasionally can be found inland. Usually seen from October-November but actually has a single extended generation from autumn to spring.

Its foodplant is Pellatory-of-the-wall, a non stinging nettle,  and can be seen flying over this plant but occasionally comes to light.

The caterpillar mines the leaf preferring broad leaves growing in the shade.

Thank you to Paul for responding to our request for this photograph when seen on Twitter.

side on view of Silver-striped Hawkmoth showing the lovely shape and pattern of the wings

Silver-striped Hawk-moth. Photo: Chris Griffin

view of Silver-striped Hawkmoth showing top of forewings and underwings

Silver-striped Hawk-moth. Photo: Chris Griffin

Chris travelled from his home in Somerset especially to photograph this Silver-striped Hawk-moth found at Weston on Portland on 20/09/17.

This is an immigrant moth which has two generations, May-October though it is usually moths from the second generation which reach  the UK occurring from August.

The beautiful pattern and colour of this large moth, forewing 33-35 mm, and the prominent eyes make for a super experience for anyone lucky enough to see one. It flies from dusk and visits nectar flowers as well as Ivy. A good reason not to cut back flowering ivy  before the end of Autumn.

It has a variety of foodplants abroad and is resident on the north coast of Africa from where it colonises southern Europe each summer producing up to two generations from May-October.

In the UK , most immigrants have been recorded along the south coast,  where the largest annual total in 1885 was 41. Since then numbers have been much less with  a total of 14 recorded in 1963

Many thanks to Chris of Griffin Wildlife Photography for sending us these photos so that we can all enjoy this stunning moth.