Thursday, 31 May 2012

West Park Small Copper update

An evening wander through West Park and the Small Copper appeared more relaxed, at rest on grass seed heads and buttercups.





I looked back through the previous day's photos and can identify 3 seperate individuals. Now I know that the females are larger than the males with less pointed forewings but I found it too tricky to scale them equally by size and angle. So I had to differentiate by markings - the left one is the freshest of the three with boldest markings, and a tiny mark on the right forewing margin, the middle is the most worn with bits missing from both the left hindwing and forewing, the right one has a light mark on the right hindwing and I'd say has the pointiest wings (a male maybe?). I'd welcome any thoughts on the sex of each butterfly.

6 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful photos. I don't see that many Small Coppers to really help you Linda with working out which sex each butterfly is. I've had a look at my butterfly books and found just one more helpful id tip - apparently the males have a slightly broader copper band on the hindwing. I've tried, without much success to measure this on your photos! and think I would agree that the photo on far right is a male but as I mentioned I'm no expert:)

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  2. Not much good at sexing Small Coppers Linda. If you visit my blog, and click on the link to Greenie in the wild, you can leave a comment on his blog about sexing them, he will be glad to help :-)

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  3. Lovely images Linda and a good piece of research.

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  4. Such beautiful butterflies, Linda. I hope I might find Coppers this year. Thanks for your comment and welcome back.

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  5. Hello Caroline, thank you for your help, its tricky but with a bit of practice I'll get there.Ive noted your comment about the broader copper band on the hindwing for future reference. Thanks again.

    Hello Warren, thanks for the tip, I'll Greenie in the Wild a try.

    Hello Roy, thanks. I was interested to see if I could identify the number of different individuals I'd photographed & to test out whether I could distinguish male & female which I haven't quite managed to do but it was a handy exercise.

    Hello Emma, they're wonderful little butterflies, I'll keep my fingers crossed for a sighting of your own.Lovely to have you back Emma, I was delighted to read about your recent adventures & look forward to your future postings.

    Best wishes all, Linda

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