Warm Weather Butterfly Increase

A report from our lepidopterology and odonatology expert, Keith Powrie

The bout of warm weather has kick-started the summer broods into early action.

The average number of butterflies to be seen during Week 12 has been established at 3.6, over the years of monitoring. In fact, last year, none were found at all. Yesterday, 25 were counted, 11 of which were Meadow Browns. The highest count for this species, during Week 12, so far, has only been 6.
The first Ringlets also appeared. This has been the earliest emergence for them since monitoring began.

Dragonflies, however, were noticeable by their absence, and only damselflies were to be found at any of the ponds.

Below is a photo of a Ringlet. Note how similar it is to a Male Meadow Brown. (Inset) Close-up, it can be distinguished by the extra number of ‘eyes’, or ‘ringlets’. In flight, it appears much darker, almost black, as it lacks the paler areas, outboard on the wings.