August Butterflies

Here we are in August, a month of grandeur for the special jewels of our landscapes. Below are some butterflies found this month, all recently photographed. What a summer we continue to have!

Common Blues are seemingly everywhere, even turning up in gardens where some are breeding. Some individual Common Blues are much smaller than they should be, no doubt products of drought conditions reducing the food available to the larvae. I peered hard at a couple today, so diminutive as to suggest a Small Blue.

Small Coppers are widespread but not numerous but this is typical of this lovely creatures population dynamic. No photograph can really represent its sparkling copper upper surfaces, so here I opt for a more sombre photograph of its undersides, still elegant and interestingly distinct from British populations. British Small Coppers usually have brown rather than grey undersides with a lesser defined, more subdued reddish hindwing band than the ones that grace our flowers.

Peacocks seem to be launching a takeover attempt at the moment. I am rarely shocked at their population sizes on good sites but the swarm encountered at a special site recently left me gaping in admiration as a blur of reds, golds and purples swirled in the sunshine! Never spray your nettles, the plant it breeds on!

The Brimstone is out in numbers now in its midland haunts, dawdling for several minutes at favoured Common Knapweed blooms, oblivious to bees jostling for their share.

Small Tortoiseshells are just beginning to show up in gardens, fields, parks and wood edges now, and will build their numbers to outnumber the Peacocks. Alas, when this happens, we know autumn is upon us!

Common Blue female.©J.Harding.
Common Blue male.©J.Harding.
Small Copper underside, female.©J.Harding.
Peacock.©J.Harding.
Brimstone, male.©J.Harding.
Small Tortoiseshell.©J.Harding.

 

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