Tuesday, 22 August 2017

This year's butterflies

I wouldn't normally find the appearance of a Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) all that remarkable. On Sliabh Mannan these butterflies are usually relatively common but have been scarce this year. Peacock, likewise usually relatively common, have been almost completely absent.

I suspect the lengthy period of significant summer rain has been too much for some of the larger species. Quite often the butterflies I've seen have been short of bits of wing.

This specimen however was particularly bright and may well have been recently-emerged. I wonder if there might yet be a late-season surge?

By contrast Orange Tip in the late Spring, Ringlet in early summer and Green Veined White much of the time have been abundant, and a Painted Lady, not seen for years, did appear in the garden. Their periods of emergence were marked by more clement weather.