NINE JUNE BUT­TER­FLIES

There is a change in the but­ter­fly fauna in June. The few ear­lier starter species that over­win­tered as adults or oth­ers that rushed their cater­pil­lar de­vel­op­ment to get air­borne as quickly as pos­si­ble in spring have peaked. Now the true sum­mer species sta

Countryfile Magazine - - Contents -

GREEN HAIRSTREAK

Cal­lophrys rubi Bri­tain’s only green but­ter­fly perches, wings closed, on prom­i­nent bushes. Warm val­leys, sandy heath­land and brown­fields are its favoured haunts. Its wide range of food plants in­clude gorse, rock­rose and bram­ble.

SMALL COP­PER

Ly­caena phlaeas Bright and lively, this is al­ways on the move, its orange catch­ing the sun and glint­ing like bur­nished gold. Even when feed­ing at a flower it keeps shift­ing its body. The male and fe­male crash into the grass to mate.

WHITE AD­MI­RAL

Li­meni­tis camilla This is a scarce denizen of dap­pled wood­land rides, where its cater­pil­lars eat hon­ey­suckle leaves. Hec­tic in flight – re­veal­ing an orange un­der­side – it has head­long bursts of speed in­ter­spersed with glid­ing swoops.

RED AD­MI­RAL

Vanessa ata­lanta White and red in­signia against black vel­vet make this one of our most beau­ti­ful and dis­tinc­tive in­sects. A strong, fast flier, it’s also happy to sit and sip nec­tar leisurely from a this­tle or bud­dleia flower.

DARK GREEN FRITILLARY

Arg­yn­nis aglaja Its bright che­quered black and orange up­per side con­trasts with its soft green un­der­wings, spot­ted with shim­mer­ing pools of bright sil­ver scales. It is a pow­er­ful flier over dunes and rough grass­land.

MAR­BLED WHITE

Me­la­nar­gia galathea Found on south­ern English chalk downs and lime­stone hills. Its white, blonde or cream mar­bling varies from nar­row trac­ery to deep blotches. Its favourite nec­tar plants in­clude knap­weeds and scabi­ous.

MEADOW BROWN

Man­iola ju­rtina Com­mon across all types of rough grass­land. Fe­males are gen­er­ally paler with large orange blotch on up­per wings, males are an al­most uni­form dark brown. It rests with wings folded to­gether, front pair tucked down be­hind back.

RINGLET

Aphan­to­pus hy­per­an­thus This reg­u­lar of damp grass­lands, scrub, wood­land edges and hedgerows has a slow, lugubri­ous flight. The nor­mally eight pale rings on the un­der­side vary in num­ber, shape, size and bright­ness.

SMALL HEATH

Coenonympha pam­philus De­spite its orange up­per­side, the del­i­cate small heath is al­most in­vis­i­ble when it folds its wings in long grass. An er­ratic low bob­bing flight dis­tin­guishes it from sim­i­lar orange skip­pers. It’s of­ten found in small num­bers.

Un­der­side

Un­der­side

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