Friday, 12 June 2015

Day 221 - Sensationally Wonderfully Beautiful Speckled Wood Butterfly

Speckled Wood Butterfly (Pararge aegeria)
Hi all today's Day 221 and I am sort of carrying on the insect-y North York Moors-y theme. I saw this lovely insect at the Forest that we usually go to where I found quite a lot of my recent posts such as the Red Damselfly and the White-Lipped Banded Snail. But this one is neither a snail or a fly, it's a butterfly. It won't take you long to figure out that it's The Speckled Wood Butterfly. I don't see them very often and it was a very hard one to catch as it wouldn't stay still for 10 seconds! It fluttered off almost everytime I got near to it. But any way, I did eventually get these slightly ropey shots --->

So, here are the facts:
  • As you might have guessed from their name they like to live in woodland but they will also sometimes live in places like lanes and parks that have tall hedges.
Just Resting...
  • They are quite common south of Yorkshire and Cumbria but get a bit more scattered after that, their numbers declined in the 1800's but since the 1920's they have been doing better and spreading further north.
  • They are one of the only butterflies that you will find in shade. They tend to like slightly damp grassy areas with dappled shade.
  • Their wingspan is between 46 and 56mm the males are a little bit smaller than the females.
  • The adults feed on honeydew at the tops of the trees so you don't often see them feeding, though sometimes they do feed on other flowers.
  • Adults are seen throughout March until October - quite a long season compared to some butterflies.
  • I was looking up their life cycle and it was a bit hard but then I found out something quite interesting. They have an interesting advantage. They can overwinter as pupae and larvae!
...And also sunbathing!
  • This means that adults emerge at different times in the Spring and if the weather is right there may be two or three adult generations in one season. 
  • Caterpillars of this butterfly have a few plants they like to feed on which are False Broom, Cock's-foot, Yorkshire-fog and Common Couch.

Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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