Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Rodley butterflies

Rodley Nature Reserve in Leeds is a great place to see butterflies. On our arrival we immediately spotted a few Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), the forewing underwing is orange & buff with a black spot near the tip, the underwing has a buff band with black spots. One of the most widespread grassland butterfly species in the UK.

There must have been over 20 Ringlets (Aphantopus hyperan) on the Reserve constantly bobbing through the tall grass & barely settling, making them tricky to photograph. The Ringlet is a small dark brown butterfly, the underwing has distinctive eyespots with a white centre, black inner ring and outer yellow ring. They're widespread on damp grassland throughout Britain & Ireland,

Bramble and wild privet flowers are favourite nectar sources.

I found this Ringlet up at Dinnington, Northumberland on an overcast & damp night, around 8pm in June. Adults continue to fly in dull, cloudy conditions when most other butterflies are inactive.

As the weeks go on the Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui) become noticeably more worn.

Small Toirtoiseshell (Aglais urticae) settled on a wildflower patch. Boldly marked, colourful upperwings, orange black, yellow & dark brown, blue spot markings in the margins. The adults drink nectar from flowers, buddleia being a favourite.

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