Meadow browns

A message from Ian B on Tuesday of last week: "Had a walk around the park this afternoon and did a bit of a butterfly transect.  The park is  looking good. I saw 3  speckled woods, 7  small skippers and 43  meadow browns – the latter were in perfect condition as though they had  just... Continue Reading →

Peacock caterpillars

Ian found and photographed this nest of peacock butterfly caterpillars on Tuesday. The female butterfly mates in the spring and lays her eggs, several hundred of them, under the topmost leaves of new nettles growing vigorously somewhere sunny. About two weeks later the eggs hatch into black spiky caterpillars with white spots . Like small... Continue Reading →

Drinker moth caterpillar

This is the caterpillar of the drinker moth (Euthrix potatoria) so called because the caterpillar is believed to drink drops of dew on grass stems. They like damp and marshy places best, riversides and fens, but anywhere grassy will do; grasses, particularly cocks-foot and canary grass, are their main food plants. This is a species... Continue Reading →

Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillars

From Ian B: "I photographed this small tortoiseshell nest this morning in Simpsons Field; there is a nettle bed on the right, about half way up the hard path from the entrance." The female small tortoiseshell butterfly lays her eggs on nettles. They hatch after about 12 days and immediately after hatching, the caterpillars eat... Continue Reading →

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