The comma butterfly is common in south east England and gets its name from a white marking underneath its wings

The Gatekeeper, sometimes called the Hedge Brown, is a common butterfly Its name may refer to it being found near field gates.It prefers the habitat of meadow margins and hedges; field gates are often in such locations, and so the Gatekeeper can be found much more frequently in such locations than the Meadow Brown for example.

The larvae feed on grasses and are usually green or brown in colour. The pupae are a flimsy chrysalis either hanging upside down or lying in grass. The adults are often found round blackberry plants. The adult butterflies have a quite short proboscis and the flowers of the blackberry being quite shallow provide an excellent nectar source. Males have a dark patch of scent scales in the middle of the forewing for courtship purposes except in very onld individuals. This dark patch is clearly visible in the male Gatekeeper. The characteristic eyespots on the forewing probably deflect bird attacks away from the butterfly's body rather than startle away predators; the Gatekeeper likes to rest with its wings open and the eyespots visible.

Green veined white
The green veined white is related to the small and large whites, but is less frequently seen in gardens. The adult male has a lemony smell.

Holly Blue
Holly blues are so caled because the eggs are laid on the flowers of holly bushes and the caterpillar eats the blossom.

Large (cabbage) white
The Large White is common throughout Europe often in agricultural areas, meadows and parkland. It is a strong flyer and the British population is reinforced in most years by migrations from the continent. Its wingspan is 5 to 6.5 cm.

The wings are white, with black tips on the forewings of both males and females, the female also has two black spots on each forewing. The underside is a pale greenish and serves as excellent camouflage when at rest. The black markings are generally darker in the summer brood.

The female lays batches of 20 to 100 yellow eggs on plants in the cabbage family and can be a pest on food crops. The caterpillars are yellowish green with yellow lines and black spots and feed in groups in plain view on the leaf surface. It has two broods in a year, the first is on the wing in May and June and the second in August.

Orange Tip
This butterfly has white uppersides to its wings and it's only the males that have orange-tipped forewings; females have small black tips. The orange tips warn predators that this butterfly is highly distasteful.

Red Admiral
The red admiral is a common species; some over-winter here but others fly long distances from the continent.

Small (cabbage) white
The small white, which along with the slightly larger, large white is what is commonly known as the cabbage white. Jason has captured the first butterfly sighting of the year in the Pleasaunce.

Speckled wood butterfly
Speckled woods have brown wings with creamy-yellow spots; there is one black and white eyespot on the forewing and three on the hind. The undersides are patterned orange, yellow and brown.

This species is common in woods, scrub and tall vegetation throughout southern England and lowland Wales.

In the Pleasaunce, the woodland glen is the place they're found.
Last Updated: 21st-Apr-2007 01:39 Print
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