Thursday, 28 June 2007

Sunshine brings out the Butterflies

I had an early walk in the sunshine to look for a few butterflies. I didn't find all the ones I hoped for but the chalk roadside bank by the monument was alive with several of typical of the grassland there.

This Marbled White posed beautifully, but as usual close scrutiny reveals a chunk out of one of its wings. Butterflies are fragile and quickly became less than pristine.

Small Coppers are one of my favourites and this one on Knapweed is sharing it with a Bumblebee.

Two species of Skippers were also using the Knapweed. this is a male Large Skipper. Skippers always have their wings in this half open half closed position and there are quite moth like in their shape.

The other Skipper I photographed was the Small Skipper. I think the one above is a female and the one below, with the black streak on the forewing (called a sex brand) is male.

One of the commonest butterflies around at the moment is the Meadow Brown, the male, below, has a mainly dark upperside with just a hint of orange patches on the forewing, these are prominent on the female.

Below is a meadow Brown with its wing closed, a position often adopted.

The male and female Meadow Brown are similar on the underside.

A butterfly that can be confused with the male Meadow Brown is the Ringlet. The upperside is all dark, but the underside has this striking pattern of rings.

This one had me a bit confused at first, but I think that it is an aberrant Ringlet, with little dots replacing the rings. It has the conspicuous white border of the Ringlet.

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