Tattered butterflies

The first meadow brown butterflies hatch at the end of May and by now, the middle of July, some are beginning to look really tattered.

This one has had a particularly rough time of it.

Brambles, a significant source of nectar throughout mid-summer for all butterflies, are also a significant danger, catching and tearing at their wings as they move between flowers. July adds all the hazards of hay making time, and then come the thistles: scented, nectar-rich and an obstacle course of spikes. Summer storms and high winds take their toll.

The park is full of things that hunt and eat butterflies: spiders and spiderwebs, hungry birds with nestlings to feed, mice and shrews. A butterfly might well escape from a predator but sometimes at considerable cost to its wings.

Header picture by DKG


2 thoughts on “

  1. I must remember to leave a few more brambles in the garden for the butterflies and other insects, especially in out of the way areas where they won’t be problem.

    1. The bramble blossoms are not only nectar rich but flower over a long period. I think there are probably lots of subspecies all with slightly different flowering schedules so that there is bramble in flower somewhere in the park from May right through to August.

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