Apr 052016
Small copper butterfly in ‘inexorable decline

A tiny but unmistakably dazzling butterfly, the small copper, suffered its worst ever year last summer according to the annual scientific survey of Britain’s butterflies. The bright ginger butterfly joins a growing band of once-common butterflies in apparently inexorable decline despite no discernible habitat loss in recent years and conservationists are warning that climate change […]

Jul 062014
Migrating Monarch Butterflies Use Magnetic Compass to Cut Through Clouds

When monarch butterflies wing their way south to central Mexico each fall, they use the sun to ensure that they stay on course. But how they head in the right direction on cloudy days has been a mystery—until now. It turns out they use Earth’s magnetic field as a kind of backup navigational system. It’s […]

Apr 252014
The Orange tip butterfly

Anthocharis cardamines – Males differ from females by the orange-tip on the fore-wings, hence their vernacular name. Their host plant is the Cuckoo flower, but adult butterflies feed on other crucifer flowers. It is I think one of the prettiest pieridae! Le plus joli des piéridés à mon avis! Si les ailes antérieures se distinguent […]

Apr 062014
Scientists discover single gene that enables multiple morphs in a butterfly

Scientists have discovered the gene enabling multiple female morphs that give the Common Mormon butterfly its very tongue-in-cheek name. doublesex, the gene that controls gender in insects, is also a mimicry supergene that determines diverse wing patterns in this butterfly, according to a recent study published in Nature. The study also shows that the supergene […]

Jul 142013
Purple Siberian Iris, Butterflies and Birds

Looking back over the month of June, iris sepals unfurl and fall creating waves of hues from lavender to deep purple . . . filling the Middle Meadow garden with hundreds of blooms lasting nearly three full weeks as new buds continue to open. Eastern Tiger Swallowtails Papilio glaucus or Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Papilio canadensis […]

Jun 292013
Flower Hill Farm Spring Butterflies ~ Part Two

Spring precipitates into summer and we can easily recognize the longest day of the year by how we measure time in our hurried lives. Spring or Summer Azure Celastrina ladon, Form violacea (and others)is another matter . . . as the butterflies are difficult to identify. The more experienced butterfly watchers of the invaluableMassachusetts Butterfly […]

Jun 192013
Butterflies, Bugs and other Insects

Weather dominates the lives of all living things and changing weather patterns have an effect on the life cycles of most species on the planet. We talk about the weather all the time and European weather, if not global weather are going through changes. In south-west Spain we are feeling and experiencing unsettled and abnormal […]

Jun 102013
Pangbourne sprays to kill oak processionary caterpillar 'dangerous'

Wildlife in a Berkshire woodland was endangered by a “sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut” approach to killing a toxic caterpillar, experts have said. Birds, bats and rare insects were affected by Forestry Commission aerial sprays to kill a moth larvae, Butterfly Conservation and Buglife claimed. It was unclear if oak processionary caterpillar larvae were even present in the Pangbourne […]

May 202013
UK's rare spring butterflies make a late show

The UK’s spring butterflies are being welcomed by enthusiasts, but weeks later than they usually arrive. The second-coldest March on record contributed to the delayed emergence of many rare species, according to the charity Butterfly Conservation. “First sightings” recorded by the public showed the insects typically appeared a fortnight later than normal. One rare species […]

Jan 142013
The Mountain Apollo

Parnassius apollo pyrenaicus – Papilionidae – Parnassius The Apollo’s mating plug or Sphragis is visible on the photo below: It is particular to the females of this lepidoptera family.It is deposited by a male into the female genital tract and later hardens into a plug assuring the male that only his sperm cells will fertilize […]