Monday, 29 June 2009

Kirkstall butterflies, moths & others

On Friday we spotted this Small Magpie moth (Eurrhypara hortulata) inside my mini greenhouse, with a little help it managed to free itself minutes later. Its widespread in the UK favouring hedgerows, roadside verges and gardens. Orange-yellow patches where the wings meet the body.

This one's is taken through the plastic, from the outside looking in.

A popular Kirkstall butterfly the Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). This one was on the allotment & has a little damage to the its right wing. UK Butterflies states one of the main foodplants as Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus) which there's plenty of today! Also Common Couch (Elytrigia repens) Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum).

And on the gooseberries

A Common Hoverfly (Melangyna viridiceps) on a vivid magenta flower of the Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria). Their larvae are the predator of aphids of which are in abundance on my allotment, boo hoo!

On the grassy bank oppostite Kirkstall Abbey this Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) looking very much travel-worn with faded colors and frayed wings.

This looks interesting, after a bit of reasearch I wonder whether its a Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius), a common species across the UK, the larvae are the producers of 'cuckoo-spit'. Whilst I was taking the picture I thought it was a moth but on closer inspection it so obviously isn't, oh the wonders of digital photography!


  1. Great pics. I'm trying to build an album of butterflies and having trouble getting good pics as they love to flutter here then there and here then over the fence then here and high in the sky yes I'm enjoying myself and getting frustrated all at the same time. I had a fathers day gift of a collins butterfly picture guide and things are getting better but i think your pics are the best look forward to seeing more.

  2. Ah thanks very much, thats really kind of you. Don't they just love to flutter every which way but the way you want them to! Its funny you should say that because Ive noticed that my language turns a little more colourful when trying to photograph butterflies! Some happily settle (Speckled Wood, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell) whilst others rarely come to rest (especially Ringlets). I look forward to catching up with the results of your forays into the butterfly world. Best wishes, Linda


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