Orange tip drops in on the Point
Last week I saw a male orange tip butterfly fluttering around a garden on the Dungeness Point. I see orange tips further inland on the Romney Marsh and around the Weald and along the lanes around Ashford and up to Folkestone and the Downs. However, that was the first orange tip to be seen for 18 years on the Dungeness Point.
The males are very distinctive and are white with bright orange tips to the wings and a wonderful green cryptic pattern to the underside.
The females are white and black and with the same cryptic green marbled colouration to the hindwings. The species is on the wing through April and May and is reasonably widespread.
The foodplant is the familiar cuckooflower or lady’s smock, which is the lilac flower you can see growing in damp roadside verges and edges of ditches or the garlic mustard which is a more familiar woodland edge plant with white flowers and broad green leaves.
For more information contact Owen Leyshon, Romney Marsh Countryside Partnership, telephone 01797 367934 or log on to www.rmcp.co.uk