1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'Personal' started by peakster, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Until the last few months Butterflies were just coloured things that fluttered by occasionally in Summer and I never really took too much notice of them (in this country anyway),

    But I've become really interested in them and have been reading up on their life cycles and other stuff and even noting down what species I've seen on walks. There are quite a variety of Butterflies in the UK and I've racked up over 20 species this summer - including a couple I've never seen before (or noticed). We saw 7 different species alone on a walk yesterday.

    The most spectacular ?.........this one.


    A Purple Emperor - never seen one before this Summer, and a personal favourite....


    A Comma - saw a few of these yesterday.

    Keep your eyes open - it's amazing what you can see.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    One thing I didn't know is that an individual species can be around for more than one period in the Summer.

    For example a few months ago there were loads of Brimstones about - then they all disappeared.

    Yesterday - they're back again - second wave.
    agathamorse, nomad and Scintillant like this.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    White Admiral
    White Admiral
    Silver-washed Fritillary

    Yes, you get second broods of many species.

    Dragonflies and damselfies are worth a look too

    I've been looking at hoverflies and bees lately. Hours of fun...

    This is actually called The Footballer, due to the stripes on the thorax looking like a football shirt.
    Corvuscorax, agathamorse and nomad like this.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I've seen a White Admiral this Summer - there are a few in a country park not far away.

    Also seen a few nice moths....
    This is a Cinnabar Moth - saw one of these yesterday as well.
    agathamorse and nomad like this.
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The way we attracted butterflies to photograph in Indonesia was to urinate on leaves and rocks where the sun shone. Butterflies are attracted to human urine, specifically to the sodium and ammonium ions in it. If the urine is wet the butterflies will 'mud-puddle' but if it has dried they will actually use their own body fluids to dissolve the nutrients.

    It was using this method I got some wonderful photos of a cloud of Sulawesi Peacock butterflies.

    In this country I suggest caution of you plan to use this method!
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You might enjoy moth-trapping. You can traps pretty cheaply. Leave them on overnight and wake up to hundreds of moths to identify.

    Eyes Hawkmoth. Quite common in UK
    nomad likes this.
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Purple Emperors are attracted to dog****
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Most insects are
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Butterflies do seem to be staging a bit of a comeback this year after declining numbers for several years (from my perspective), always good to see them around. Following small ones around until they settle can be rewarding as something apparently non-descript in flight can turn out to be quite beautiful when you see it properly. Moths can be good too though of course many are night flying. Here's an elephant hawk moth on the side of our house a few years ago.


    I've always loved hoverflies and especially bee flies, both can be quite curious hovering about you and then darting to another position like those light-sabre practice balls on star wars. Here's one again from a few years ago, the only fly I have successfully photographed in flight!

    Scintillant, agathamorse and nomad like this.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Seems more Bees around as well - lots buzzing about on our walk yesterday.
    agathamorse and nomad like this.
  11. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Lead commenter

    Bees are great.
    Butterflies and the things beginning with "m" - not great. Evil fluttery things. Evil. 'Orrible. Obscene.

    Apologies for mini rant.

    But I'm right.
    Wotton likes this.
  12. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I love butterflies, but I've never seen a Purple Emperor, @peakster You're lucky. Nor have I seen a Swallowtail in this country.
    But Commas and Holly Blues are common in my garden, as are Gatekeepers and Tortoiseshells. And Cabbage White, but I'm less pleased about them because of the veg patch...
  13. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'd never seen one until a few weeks ago.

    Didn't see any on my next visit though.
  14. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    This attracts males, and they need salts for making sperm, which is actually a significant proportion of their body weight. You can attract all butterflies with a bit of sugary water, but males only with salt water
  15. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    This is a male looking for salt to make sperm
  16. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    amazing shots!
    Mangleworzle likes this.
  17. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    @Scintillant those are also amazing shots. Did you take them yourself?
  18. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    No, I do have some but they're on a drive somewhere. Just googled those.
  19. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    We get lots of blue damselflies around here as we live near the river. For some reason at times they can congregate in the hundreds along maybe a 10-20m stretch of path, they'll be flying around and part in front of you to close in again when you've passed.

    Here's a picture from google.


Share This Page