Friday, 24 June 2011


This morning, I was bemoaning the fact that there seem to be very few butterflies around this year.  Walking around the parkland over the last couple of years, there have been quite a few both in number and species.  But this year, we have seen a few Orange-tips and a few Ringlets, but that's about all.  Having said that, this morning, we did find a Large Skipper (Ochlodes faunus).
The caterpillar of this butterfly, feeds on various grasses, especially the Cock's Foot, while the adults sip nectar from Bird's-foot Trefoil, Bramble, Dandelion, Knapweeds and many other common grassland flowers.
As with many Skipper butterflies, the adults sit with their fore-wings held at an angle to the hind-wings, giving them a strange look.Close by, a mating pair of 5-Spot Burnet Moths (Zygaena trifolii).
They were up to their 'business' on the stem of a grass, below an empty larval case which was still attached to the stem above them.  Common in the UK, these moths also like to feed on the Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers.
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