Tag Archives: Portland

Large brown and orange butterfly with yellow patches on upper wings

Large Tortoiseshell, Photo: Andrew Reekie

Another sighting of a Large Tortoiseshell on Portland ,but this time near Fancy’s Farm. Andrew saw this one on 10/07/19 and tells us it was nectaring on Buddleia for quite a while before flying off.

This one looks very fresh and surely cannot be one of the two seen so much earlier this year. After the mixture of wet, windy, then hot ,dry weather , it would by now be looking a little frayed around the edges if it had been around since February.

Adonis Blue Caterpillar, Portland

a green and yellow caterpillar

Adonis Caterpillar. Photo: Michelle Rowland

Michelle found this small Adonis Blue caterpillar at Westcliff on 24/06/19.

The larvae are green with yellow stripes running along the length of the body. Unlike its close relative, the Chalkhill Blue, the larva of the Adonis Blue feeds by day. The larva has a Newcomer’s gland in the 7th segment which provides secretions that are attractive to ants. This is a symbiotic relationship for, like many other blues, the Adonis Blue larva (and pupa) is afforded protection by the ants from parasites and other predators.

View of the underwings of a butterfly with a grey background, blue near the body, and a lot of white, black and orange markings

Common Blue. Photo: Michelle Rowland

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.

Small butterfly of a dark grey colour and white fringes

Small Blue. Photo: Michelle Rowland

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.

view of a Common Blue resting on a dead flower head

Common Blue. Photo: Penny Hawes

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.