Friday, 2 August 2019

Butterflies to look-out for - plus two exotic records

Thought I'd share some info on a couple of native species to be on the look-out for, plus some news of some exotic sightings...

Essex Skipper
Since being added to the county list in 2017, this species is now established in the north-eastern corner of the county. Multiple records now from the Welshpool and Llanymynech areas (and one from near Newtown). This butterfly will spread further into the county so do please check those Small Skippers! Check out the 'Similar species' section on the UK butterflies website for some excellent ID pointers here.

Marbled White (Oxfordshire)
Marbled White
Recorded on a BMS transect at Roundton Hill in mid-July this year: only the second county record (and first since 1999). Seen during a period of very hot weather, this probably represents a dispersing individual. Marbled White probably isn't breeding in the county yet, but is expanding its range and may well become established in the coming years.

Scarce Swallowtail
New county record from mid-June. Two reports from a plant nursery near Welshpool. This species is a very rare migrant to the UK and the individual seen is highly unlikely to have arrived of its own volition (probably imported as a pupa among plants grown in continental Europe).

Two reports from Powis Castle gardens last week (3rd and 4th county records). This species is a rare vagrant from across the Atlantic and these sightings undoubtedly represent the release of captively-bred individuals (apparently for a wedding). Pictures of one sighting here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Douglas,

    Thanks for the butterfly update for the county - all very interesting indeed.

    As an aside I found a Purple Hair-streak in my moth trap the other morning during the very hot spell of weather we recently had. I have noticed curious behaviour on previous occasions with this species when we've had very hot weather, which I assume must drive them down from the tree canopy so that they can escape the heat.

    Peter W.