Tag Archives: Brimstone

green underwings of a butterfly camouflaged against the leaf it is resting on

Brimstone. Photo: Mark Pike

seven caterpillars with beige hairsand  black faces on the outside of  their web

Marsh Fritillary Caterpillars. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark commented that this female Brimstone was so well camouflaged against the leaf she settled on at Alners Gorse  when he visited the reserve on 29/07/19.

Not so were the caterpillars of the Marsh Fritillary butterfly which is found at Alners Gorse,. The mite, trombidium breei seen on one of the caterpillars is often found on butterflies and other insects but apparently does them no harm.

A white and a yellow butterfly on a bush

Brimstones. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona was delighted to get this shot of a female Brimstone refusing to mate with the male, as it was her first ever shot of a stationery female Brimstone upperwing. Taken at Badbury Rings on 10/05/2019.

When a female butterfly has already mated, she will refuse further male advances: she needs to get on with laying her eggs, which she will do on the bush in the photograph, which is a buckthorn. She shows her refusal by having her wings open and raising up her abdomen, often with the genitalia extruded.

view of a Male Brimstone showing partially open wings

Brimstone. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona sent us this photo of a male Brimstone which she took at Badbury Rings on 24/03/19.

She tells us:

I have been trying to get some photos of a Brimstone upperwing, which has resulted in a lot of photos of flowers without butterflies!

Perseverance paid off as Shona managed a good shot showing the often unseen orange spots on the upper hind-wings.

view of a Brimstone nectaring on a dandelion

Brimstone. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark sent us this photo of a Brimstone from Motcombe Meadows  which he took on 14/04/18.

This is a species which over winters as an adult, and can be seen on the wing on warm winter’s days when it comes out of hibernation.

Most Brimstones that survive the winter will end their life cycle in Midsummer when new young Brimstones can be seen.