Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Purple Emperor on Test Match Special

Delighted to have orchestrated a mention of the Monarch of all the Butterflies into the celebratory TMS@60 programme. It's around 54.00 minutes into the programme, and introduces the infamous Lords streaker of 1975 (who, incredibly, was called Michael Angelo).

Here's the BBC Radio Iplayer link  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08ynqhd 

The point of this, is that it's important that the Emperor continues to race ahead of other butterflies in media and public standing, especially the unmentionable members of the Entomological Riff-Raff Club (like the effete mothy thing which flaps around in the Norfolk Broads and that Blue which is so stupid it became extinct).  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Iris broods – a question for the ‘Empire fraternity!


Hi folks,

I have a quick question for the 'Empire's experts as I think it is unlikely I'll bump into Neil or Matthew for a year or so! Is a second iris brood a total impossibility? Does this happen elsewhere in the world where there may be longer periods of warmth and light? Or do the larvae universally require sustained periods of low light and cold to develop properly and pupate? Thank you.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Norfolk Emperors

Interesting news from BC Norfolk, male & female Iris reported on consecutive days from Sheringham Park NT.  No dates or details given.  I had heard rumours of sightings last year but it's a large site and 'needle in haystack' spring to mind.  Wonder how they got there?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hampstead Heath


FROM ROY PREM


I have also emailed the Herts and Middlesex Branch about a possible sighting of Apatura iris in Hampstead Heath.
I note that there have been a few sightings since 2015.
On 21st July I am reasonably sure I saw one maybe two iris near the Leg of Mutton Pond/Deer enclosure/Childrens play area of Golders Hill Park/Hampstead Heath.
They were clearly large Nymphalids and I have seen iris numerous times, they could have been escapees of a tropical nymphalid (eg Parthenos Sylvia) from the nearby Butterfly Green house in Golders Hill Park.
They flew between large Oaks at 25m.
I cannot be completely sure but it is possible that they could be.
There are possible breeding areas nearby, I know the area very well as I grew up in Golders Green
Let us hope that this magnificent butterfly is extending its range, the good warm weather recently I believe is ideal weather for species extending their ranges

Monitoring the last sightings

Today, two seen in Waterperry Wood by the Campbells; one female, looking fresh!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Apology!

Sorry, in fact there has been a nice discussion on dispersal! [but not yet on influence of light and temperature]

The last knockings

Matthew pointed out that, at the end  of the season, it is difficult to spot them unless you are experienced enough to know where and how to look. In Upper Thames we have two people who possess this quality in spades: Wendy & Mick Campbell. They have been out looking almost every day in many woods since they saw the first on June 17th. Yesterday, three were seen in Waterperry Wood [including a female ovipositing], and today, one in Little Wood. So, that is 5 weeks so far, which is a normal flight season length.
I agree with Matthew, because the end is nigh, it is no reason to stop blogging!
Why don't we discuss our experiences, where they add to knowledge of the ecology of HIM?
For example, I have written two blogs concerning possible influence of light and temperature on activity, and dispersal, but the response has been meagre!