Tag Archives: Law

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 .