Friday, 21 May 2010

The First Butterflies of the Season

Late spring Early Summer

This time of year brings out the new and fresh first butterflies of the season. That is, not counting, the battered individuals of some species, that hibernate as adults through the winter.Most species make it through the winter as eggs, caterpillars or chrysalises - and of course I mean Ovum, Larva, and Pupa!

So here are some of my shots from this year, both from the garden and the nearby Nature Rserve at Hof ter Saksen.


Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

Who's Looking at You, Kid?

This one is perching on Honesty (Luneria annua) in the garden. This butterfly is only around in the spring and this is only the second time I've had one in the garden. It's a female too as it doesn't have the characteristic orange wing tips of the male. In any case the males are notoriously hard to photograph as they spend most of their time patrolling for females. I've had them bump into my chest when walking along trails!

Green-veined White (Pieris napi)

house_20100515_D_054224

This is also perching on Honesty (Luneria annua) in the garden. These whites can easily n=be mistaken for Small and Large Whites but the strong veining on the underside of the wings is characteristic.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

house_20100515_D_054168

house_20100510_D_053889

house_20100510_D_053742

These are amongst the first butterflies around here and can often be the last too as they sometimes have three generations in a summer. When fresh the fiery copper colour is really striking and catches the light. I don't know what it was doing on a Dandelion clock!

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis)

house_20100515_D_054140

house_20100510_D_053817

house_20100510_D_053869

The Brown Argus is actually a member of the family of Blues (Lycidae) and this species can easily be confused with the female of the Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus). I saw no Blues at all on this day so I'm pretty confident it's a Brown Argus.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)

house_20100515_D_054070

This is the typical Chocolate and Cream livery of the Speckled Wood in the north of Europe. In the south it's more Orange with yellow markings.

Small White (Pieris rapae)

house_20100515_D_053990

house_20100510_D_053919

One of most common butterflies and often confused with the Large White. Obviously you are not to call it a Cabbage White! Please.

Comma (Polygonia c-album)

house_20100418_D_053686

Easily recognised by the raggedy shape of it's wings.

Peacock (Inachis io)

house_20100406_D_053227

Very often they are early harbinger of spring as they hibernate as adults (Imago) through the winter. The eye-spots on the wing make it easily recognisable though I read that a recent survey in the UK found that 70% of people didn't know it's name. Shocking!

Holly Blue (Celestrina argiolus)

house_20100418_D_053624

This one is seen here perched on Holly and trying to feed on the tiny Holly flowers which are barely open. This species is usually the first of the Blues to be seen in spring