Spotted by Michelle on 21/05/2019 at Westcliff, Portland.
Common Blues seem to be out in numbers over much of Dorset at the moment. Sightings sent to this website report 35 at Badbury Rings, 34 at Lorton Meadows (Weymouth) and 27 at Hod Hill (near Blandford). See all the reports on our Recent Sightings page.
Michelle is testing out a new camera, so she went out taking shots of the butterflies local to her at Westcliff, Portland. The Small Blue was taken on 12/05/2019. The shot gives a good idea of how tiny this butterfly is: the smallest in the UK.
Penny found this lovely male Common Blue at Portland on 6/09/18.
It looks in such a pristine condition, so it is hard to believe we are already into Autumn. The Blues seem to have had a very good year and after the prolonged dry spell, the rains have revived the caterpillar foodplants . Hopefully this will ode well for the 2019 butterfly season.
Alan saw this Large Tortoiseshell at Portland on 1/07/18
In Victorian times the Large Tortoiseshell was considered widespread and common in woodland in southern England. However, this beautiful insect has since suffered a severe decline and there have been less than 150 records since 1951. This butterfly, whose numbers were always known to fluctuate, is generally considered to be extinct in the British Isles, with any sightings considered to be migrants from the continent or accidental or deliberate releases of captive-bred stock.
Gordon photographed these Marbled Whites , Male (L) and female (R), at Portland on 21/07/18.
Despite its name, the Marbled White is more closely related to the subfamily known as the “browns” that the “whites”. This butterfly is unmistakable, its black and white markings distinguishing it from all other species found in the British Isles.
Adults emerge throughout the latter part of June, reaching a peak in early July. There is one generation each year.
Penny photographed this beautiful male Chalkhill Blue at Kingbarrow Quarry, on Portland on 25/07/17.
The caterpillar foodplant of this species is Horse-shoe Vetch, and the adult butterfly can be seen on the wing from late June to early October. It prefers dry flowery places with short grass, usually on limestone, but always alkaline soils.