Category Archives: Gallery

Wall Brown butterfly with open wings on white stone block

Wall Brown. Photo: Brian Arnold

Taken by Brian whilst doing his transect (butterfly monitoring) walk at Durlston East (near Swanage) on 18 September. He observes that it was in such perfect condition that it must have been newly hatched.

Wall Browns are increasingly becoming limited to coastal areas, as can be seen on their map on our Atlas page. Remember our Atlas pages can give you a lot more information on how all Dorset butterflies are faring.

view of a Winter Moth with open wings resting on a window

Winter Moth. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark found this small male Winter Moth on his conservatory window at his home in Motcombe on 29/12/17.

The flight season is Oct-Jan, with one brood. The caterpillers feed on almost any broadleaved tree or shrub as well as heathers and bog myrtle. It can be found throughout the UK.

The female of this species is small and flightless but is sometimes carried in flight by the male during mating.

view of a Chalkhill blue showing  small silver studs as in a Silver-studded Blue

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Mark Pike

view of a Chalkhill Blue showing small silver studs as in Silver-studded Blue feeding on gorse

Chalkhill Blue. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark took this photograph on 13/07/17 at Badbury Rings not realising at first that it showed extra markings.

You can see there are small silver studs on this butterfly’s underwing, similar to those of the Silver-studded Blue. We have had a suggestion this is a variation called argenteogutta, which seems to translate as ‘silver drops’. The Chalkhill is well known for its aberrations – there was an entire book on them published in 1938.”

Chalkhill Blues can be seen on the wing from late June-early Oct depending on locality and altitude, but are becoming increasingly rare in England.


view of a Parawammerdamia Albicapitella resting after being caught in moth trap

Paraswammerdamia Albicapitella. Photo: Paul Harris

Paul photographed this Paraswammerdamia Albicapitella moth on 14/10/17 after catching it in his moth trap in Weymouth.

He tells us it was very late in the season for this 5-6 mm moth to be present. It is common in the South of England, and double brooded, late April- mid Sept.

The caterpillar forms a web, usually several to a web, on the leaves of Buckthorn, its foodplant.

View of a Small Copper showiung uper Fore and hind-wings resting on grass

Small Copper. Photo: Andy Martin

View of a Small Copper with closed wings resting on a fingertip

Small Copper. Photo: Andy Martin

Andy found this Small Copper at Ulwell on 16/11/17.

This is another very late sighting and it was a very accommodating butterfly, resting on Andy’s fingertip for a photograph.

Andy says it was very sunny that day, and he also saw four very active Clouded Yellows at the same site.

We have had some very cold nights and frosty mornings, so it is amazing that butterflies are still on the wing. Which species will be  the last to be recorded this year?

View of a Green Hairstreak on a Bluebell

Green Hairstreak. Photo: Penny Hawes

Penny took this photograph on 21/05/17 at Sharford Bridge and thought showing it in January on the gallery might lift our spirits during the winter months when it is unlikely we shall see many butterflies.

This small butterflies always rests and feeds with closed wings, and is well adapted to a variety of habitats and foodplants.

It can be seen on the wing from March- June in one brood.



view of a Green-veined White resting on foliage showing upper fore and hind-wings

Green-veined White. Photo: Mike Gibbons

Mike photographed this late flying Green-veined White at Southbourne Undercliff on 5/11/17.

Whites can be quite confusing to ID, but the black markings on the tips of the fore-wing establishes this butterfly as a Green-veined White given the time of year it was seen.

Similar species are female Orange Tip, and Small White. However all have very different underside patterns which when seen makes for easier ID.

Text books suggest in England this butterfly has two broods, April-May and mid June-July, but that further south in Europe it has 2-4 overlapping broods March-October.

Does this suggest that this butterfly could be an immigrant?

Dark butterfly well hidden in a bush

Comma. Photo: Malcolm Wemyss

Malcolm says:

I was incredibly lucky to see a bright butterfly just fluttering along our yew hedge in late afternoon of early October, a Comma. It then entered the hedge and walked around inside to settle down and roost for the night. At the approach of my mobile camera it extended its forewing – now the inverted butterfly perhaps appears as a bizarre face with the ‘c’ marking an eye and the gap between wings as open jaws . .


View of a |Small Coppper on heather seed heads showing upper fore-wings

Small Copper. Photo: Penny Hawes

Penny  found this Small Copper on Hartland Moor on 27/10/17

and tells us

Still a large number of Red Admirals about, and a few Peacocks. I found this Small Copper on Hartland Moor, near the Sharford Bridge path. A few Speckled Woods there too.

This is yet another late sighting, as Small Coppers are usually in flight from May – early October in the UK from one or two broods.