Saturday, January 25, 2014

Emperor On The Runway

This wonderful bustier, designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and modeled by Dita von Teese, was clearly inspired by our favourite butterfly. Vive l'Empereur!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pet Rescue

Yesterday I spent 1 hour 50 mins searching for doomed hibernating larvae on a massive old sallow brought down and snapped of by the December gales.  The tree was hard to photograph but it looks like this -

Two larvae were found, about 10m and 11m 'up' - one in a fork, the other on a bud.  Both were found on strong leaders off the trunk, below the main, twiggy canopy.  None was found in the canopy itself, which doesn't surprise me.  The tree was some 17m tall, which is massive for a sallow.  Three other giants are still standing in that area, one of which seems to support Goat moth borings. 

Here are the lucky two who were rescued -

I'm not at all surprised that they didn't fall off when the tree came crashing down - it takes a lot to knock these guys off.  Whatever mistakes you make in life Never Underestimate a Caterpillar (Erucam numquam minoris aestomate).

Two other old fallen sallows still need searching... 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Paphia Caught Short!

Continuing the them of recent days, here is another Silver-washed Fritillary investigating a sign regarding the closure of the toilet block in Wakerley Wood, Northants, on 16th July 2013.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Way-marker Butterfly

Can't compete with Neil's Dog Poo Fairy but here's Brother Paphia showing the way, at Ashridge in the Chilterns last July.  As the poet put it: 'This is the one way, and the other is also the same' (can't remember which poet, but know how the poor blighter felt...)

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Dog Poo Butterfly

There may be no such thing as the Dog Poo Fairy, but there's certainly a Dog Poo Butterfly. Robin Edwards photographed this fine specimen at Buchan Country Park (Crawley) on 18th July 2013 and recently deposited the image on the BC Sussex website. Lovely jobby!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hibernation News

A larva hibernating in a stem scar, taken yesterday.

Interesting to record that five hibernating wild larvae moved position during a very mild (and horribly wet) December.  In the four previous winters I only recorded three movements in hibernation, two by the same larva.  So it looks as though they're not hibernating 'properly' at present...

Also, three wild larvae have shrivelled up and died.  One had been feeding on a severely chlorotic sallow and I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.  Only two larvae shrivelled up and died in the wild during the previous four winters (out of a sample size of 80), though it is not unusual in captivity.

Conclusion: We need Winter...