Thursday 31 July 2014

Silver-spotted Skippers at Cissbury Ring

female Silver-spotted Skipper, Hesperia comma
Yesterday afternoon I visited Cissbury Ring again and saw seven Silver-spotted Skippers. Two pairs were in flight, another flew on its own and two were roosting. Neil Hulme had alerted me a few days ago that the small colony he found there last year had grown considerably. You can read his full story about the expansion of the Silver-spotted Skippers in West Sussex here.
I also saw a Clouded Yellow twice, once on the path from the car park and once on the Silver-spotted Skipper meadow.

female Silver-spotted Skipper, Hesperia comma
female Chalkhill Blue, Lysandra coridon with Red Mite, Trombidium breei
view to the south

Marbled White, Melanargia galathea with Red Mite, Trombidium breei 
Pearl Veneer, Agriphila straminella
elderly female Ringlet, Aphantopus hyperantus 
Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas
Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas
Tachina fly
Tachina fly - species id needed!

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Butterflies soar at Mill Hill

Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta
Yesterday morning I did my Mill Hill butterfly transect (28°C) and recorded the highest number this year - 351. Three species have more than doubled in numbers since last week: Meadow Brown, Chalkhill Blue and Common Blue. Results: Brimstone 1, Chalkhill Blue 64, Clouded Yellow 1, Common Blue 36, Dingy Skipper 1, Gatekeeper 46, Green-veined White 13, Marbled White 11, Meadow Brown 142, Peacock 3, Red Admiral 9, Small Heath 1, Small Skipper 2, Small Tortoiseshell, Wall 10, moths: Six-spot Burnet 1, Treble Bar 1. A black adder slithered into the undergrowth at the bottom of the hill.
The Clouded Yellow flew by at the top of the hill and again later at the bottom. Walls were all over the hill and flew up and attacked anything that came near them. A buddleia on the hill was covered in Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals.
Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages
Green-veined White, Pieris napi
Green-veined White, Pieris napi
looking south
looking north
Treble-bar, Aplocera plagiata
male Wall, Lasiommata megera
female Wall, Lasiommata megera
This fresh looking female Wall was resting on the ground and did not move, even when I touched it - very strange.

Chalkhills and moth larvae at Cissbury

Brown Argus, Aricia agestis
On Monday I visited Cissbury Ring again and added Brimstone, Brown Argus and Small Copper to Sunday’s tally. Chalkhill blues were everywhere. I found two unidentified moth larvae and an adder slithered away when I disturbed it.
female Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni 
Brown Argus with Meadow Brown with a Red Mite attached
female Chalkhill Blue, Lysandra coridon
female Chalkhill Blue, Lysandra coridon
male Chalkhill Blue, Lysandra coridon
Cinnabar larva, Tyria jacobaeae
Cinnabar larva on ragwort which has had all its leaves eaten by the larva
male Common Blue, Polyommatus icarus 
Dark Green Fritillary, Argynnis aglaja
Garden Snail, Helix aspersa
Gatekeeper, female, Pyronia tithonus
male Gatekeeper, Pyronia tithonus
ids needed for these moth larvae:
moth larva on Self-heal
moth larva on Self-heal
moth larva on Self-heal leaf
moth larva on thistle head

Roesel's Bush-cricket, Metrioptera roeseli
what is inside this six-spot Burnet pupa case?
Six-Spot Burnet, Zygaena filipendulae
Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas
Small Skipper, Thymelicus sylvestris with Red Mites, Trombidium breei
Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae
Squinancywort, Asperula cynanchica
Tachina fly - id needed
Vervain, Verbena officinalis
male Wall, Lasiommata megera