Overwintering

Almost all of the 21 species of butterfly that have been seen in the park this summer, will overwinter here. Butterflies can hibernate in all four of the stages of their development.

Britain has fifty eight species of butterfly, and nine of these species spend the winter as an egg, thirty two spend it as a caterpillar, eleven as a pupa, and six as an adult.

The Essex skipper is the only one of the park’s butterflies that overwinters as an egg, hidden in the sheath between a grass blade and the stem

Holly Blues overwinter as pupae, close to the ground and attached to vegetation by a silk web like a belt. They hatch in the spring; the first of the blues to appear.

Gatekeepers overwinter as caterpillars. They hibernate after their first moult; attached to grass stems they remain motionless right through the winter until April.

The Speckled Wood is unique in that it can overwinter as either a caterpillar or a pupa.

Peacocks hibernate in their adult form. They choose crevices in the bark of trees or the back of wardrobes; the underside of their wings is a perfect match for tree bark.


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