Oak lutestring

During last week’s moth trapping in Village Green, Ian and Hugo identified an oak lutestring (Cymatophorima diluta), a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species, classified as scarce and local. This is the thirteenth BAP priority species of Lepidoptera identified in the reserve: the hard work we put into our woodland habitat is paying off!

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Butterfly transect

Ian Bushell conducted a Butterfly Transect in the reserve at the weekend.

The transect route in the park samples its habitat types and management units. Butterflies are recorded in a band five metres wide along the transect. Transect walks are undertaken between 10.45am and 3.45pm and only when weather conditions are suitable for butterfly activity.

Here are the results.

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White-letter hairstreak

The white-letter hairstreak, so named because the white lines on its underwing form a W, is the emblem of the Wiltshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation and is the focus of a project to return this butterfly to our countryside.

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Picture of the week

A beautiful small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) feeding on ragwort, photographed yesterday in the reserve by Clive Knight.

Highs and Lows

The past couple of weeks in the park have brought me some wonderful highs and unfortunately, some truly depressing lows. I will get the lows out of the way first, as I want to end on a positive note. 

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Pieridae

Clive Knight has sent in beautiful photographs of two butterflies: a brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and a large white (Pieris brassicae). Although both are members of the Pieridae family, they have significantly different life cycles.

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A lot of Lepidoptera

from Ian Bushell and Clive Knight

[1] Blood vein moth [2] Meadow brown [3] Ringlet [4] Small heath [5] Painted lady [6] Small skipper.
Header Image: Comma by Ian Bushell

Six spot burnet moth

This is a six spot burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae), a dayflying nectar feeder. Regular volunteer, Clive Knight photographed it yesterday on the reserve’s plentiful, nectar-rich, tufted vetch.

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Small tortoiseshell

There are small tortoiseshell caterpillars (Aglais urticae) among the nettles by the path in Simpson’s Field. Take a careful look as you walk past.

Spindle Ermine Moth

To improve the reserve as habitat and increase its biodiversity, the Friends have been planting trees for years: whips and saplings of many different species to thicken the hedges and copses.

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