Tag Archives: Law

View of orange butterfly on yellow flower

Comma. Photo: Dave Law

View of red,black and white butterfly on blue flower

Red Admiral. Photo: Dave Law

Dave visited Alners Gorse on 05/09/2019 and sent in these lovely photos taken on his visit there.  He commented that although the season may be winding down Alners Gorse is still a fantastic place to go for a good variety of butterflies and whilst there he saw immaculate Commas, Green-veined Whites in good numbers as well as Red Admirals, Common Blues , Painted Ladies and Small Tortoiseshells.

View of two orange coloured butterflies on Buddleia

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent in this photo showing what is an increasingly rare sight of 2 Small Tortoiseshell together on the same plant. Photo taken on 18/08/2019 in his garden near Duncliffe Wood after he returned from holiday. He added that there seemed to have been a mini explosion with at least 15 different Tortoiseshells feeding on various buddleia’s around the garden as well as Peacocks, Painted Lady and Whites. Like stepping back in time to his childhood.

a group of yellow butterfly eggs on underside of a cabbage leaf

Large White , eggs, Photo: Dave Law

On 26/07/19 Dave tells us :

Love them or hate them , if you grow cabbage or nasturtium you got to expect a visit from Large or Small Whites . I watched a female Large White spend half an hour fussing over what leaf to lay on before settling to lay this egg batch . This maybe controversial to some but the cabbages in my garden are grown especially for the whites . 

With a decline in so many of our butterflies, it is very kind to grow plants for all species.

Take a closer look at Large White butterflies next time you see one , they are beautiful in their simplicity.

Light brown underside of a Comma, hutchinsoni, nectaring on Buddleia

Comma, hutchinsoni, Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent us this photo on 25/07/19 and says:

This female comma is the golden form hutchinsoni . It was swapping between feeding on buddleia and egg laying on elm and nettles in the hedgerow at Duncliffe Wood

This form is found throughout its range and represents individuals that go on to produce a second brood, which differ from those individuals that overwinter as follows:

  1. Overall appearance much paler.
  2. The underside is especially paler, being yellow-brown with darker markings nearer the body, and with a few green spots and other marks at the wing margins.
underwing phooto of a small Tortoiseshell  , black with a  pinky grey cross band

Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Dave Law

On 14/07/19 in his garden near Shaftesbury Dave tells us:

This was one of two Small Tortoiseshells egg laying on the nettle patch in the garden . The nettles are cut back from mid June to encourage the fresh growth that the females require . Also Commas and Red Admirals using the same nettle bed.

Whilst suitable flowers for nectaring butterflies are of course really necessary, plants in the garden for the caterpillars of butterflies and moths are of paramount  importance, but so often not included.

tiny white egg od a Comma Butterfly laid on a neetle

Comma Egg. Photo: Dave Law

Dave saw a light golden Comma, known as hutchinsoni form laying an egg on nettles at the side of his pond near Shaftesbury on  14/07/19.

The photo is purposely left uncropped to show the size of the egg in relation to just a part of the nettle leaf.

This form is found throughout its range and represents individuals that go on to produce a second brood, which differ from those individuals that overwinter as follows:

  • 1. Overall appearance much paler.
  • 2. The underside is especially paler, being yellow-brown with darker markings nearer the body, and with a few green spots and other marks at the wing margins.

Buddleia butterflies coming out

Orange butterfly with a lot of black and yellow marks, plus blue dots round the edge
Small Tortoiseshell. Photo: Dave Law

We have had some comments about the lack of butterflies this year, which isn’t true statistically, but we agree the species we see in our gardens have been lacking recently.

However, Dave Law sends us heartening news. Continue reading

Greenish coloured Silver washed Fritillary , valesina form

Silver-washed Fritillary, valesina. Photo: Dave Law

Dave sent us this photo of a valesina form female Silver-washed Fritillary which he came across at Alners Gorse on 3/07/19.

He says:

One of two valezina females seen at Alners Gorse as well as about 25 males . Also good numbers of White Admiral . The whole reserve is buzzing with butterflies at the moment .