Thursday, 28 August 2014

A BIG Diversion.

The Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar is probably best seen in the month of August.The adult moth is an elegant pink and olive in colour and is a strong and fast flyer
Strictly speaking the caterpillar should be called a larva as it is the offspring of a moth rather than a butterfly
It is a big larva too and the one I spotted today was at least 4cms in length.
If you have fuchsia plants these will be where they are most likely seen as it munches its way through the foliage.However my Hawk moth larva was found on a pond plant right in the middle of my garden pond.
The larva gives its name to the species due to the long trunk like nose,although when the larva senses danger it withdraws the 'trunk' creating a more bulbous head shape.



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Friday, 1 August 2014

Back on Bonchurch Down.

With the dry and very warm weather continuing a second generation of Adonis Blue is now on Bonchurch Down at Ventnor.
Yesterdays sightings on the Down included Chalk-hill Blue,Common Blue, and Brown Argus,along with one or two Marbled White, good numbers of Meadow Brown,Gatekeeper,and the odd Red Admiral.







Wednesday, 30 July 2014

As Beautiful as a Butterfly.

The Jersey Tiger Moth is certainly a colourful moth and today this one was seen in my garden on the Phlox blooms.I have been fortunate enough to see three in the garden over the last week.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Graylings Back on Down.

I hoped that the Graylings were out  on Bleak Down by now and made the walk to their usual site on the Down.The area is one of the few remaining stretches of heathland on the Island and with the heather now in flower it makes a colourful sight.
After some time of searching I at last found a Grayling.Obviously I was somewhat early to see the colony, so hopefully in another week numbers will have substantially increased






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Friday, 11 July 2014

Summertime.

A very warm and sunny morning at Walters Copse today and it was not long before I came across a pristine Painted Lady butterfly.Not too far down the path and a Dark Green Fritillary was also feeding on the giant thistles.This fritillary can be found in our woodland as well as on our chalk Downland.
Now good to see reasonable numbers of Marbled White,Meadow Brown,and Ringlet in the copse.Not many Silver-washed Fritillaries though and no sign of any Valezina as yet.The normal  females however are in evidence seeking out egg laying sites at the base of oak trees.





Thursday, 10 July 2014

Chalk-hill Blues Now On Show.

Several Chalk-hill Blues on West High Down today blown along on a very stiff wind.Hopefully in a few days numbers will steadily increase and reach last years staggering totals.
More Dark Green Fritillaries now on the wing. all nectaring on the abundant flowering plants on our Downs.





Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Thymelicus sylvestris or Thymelicus lineola.

Today at Wheelers Bay both Essex and Small Skippers were to be seen sharing the same habitat at the foot of the cliffs.
These two species are very similar and apparently there are several minor differences which will enable the observer to tell one from the other.I prefer to take a close look at the antennae,as the Essex has a distinctive black tip on both whereas the Small Skipper has dull brown-orange tips.
This difference can be seen (I hope) in the following photos taken today of the butterflies at the Bay.The first three examples are of an Essex and the last two a Small Skipper

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