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British Butterflies
Ringlet The Ringlet is a medium-sized, sooty-brown butterfly. It is commonly found along woodland rides, edges and hedgerows, and on damp grassland from June to August. The adults prefer Bramble and Wild privet flowers as nectar sources and can be seen flying with a characteristic bobbing movement even on dull days. The caterpillars feed on a variety of grasses including Cock's-foot and False broom
Purple Emperor A strikingly beautiful butterfly, the purple emperoris only on the wing for a short period in late summer. A large butterfly of woodlands, it is well known for spending much of its time in the treetops feeding on aphid honeydew, so a pair of binoculars is handy if you want so spot this dazzling insect. Males may be seen flying to the ground mid-morning to feed on salts and sugars in damp puddles, on animal droppings or road surfaces, or even on rotting carcases. The caterpillars feed on mainly on goat willow, although crack-willow and grey willow are also used
White Admiral The White admiral is a medium-sized butterfly found in shady woodlands, clearings and rides in late summer. Adults are often found on the flowers of Bramble and lay their eggs on Honeysuckle leaves, which the caterpillars feed on. Usually seen in ones or twos, it is never very common, but is widespread in southern England There is usually only one brood of White admirals per year, with adults emerging in June and July. Eggs are laid in late summer, and the new larvae wrap themselves in a silken leaf shelter for the winter
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary The small pearl-bordered fritillary is widespread and sometimes abundant in Scotland and Wales, but has undergone severe declines. It occurs in damp, grassy habitats, as well as in woodland clearings and on moorland. The adults fly low to the ground using a flutter-and-glide pattern, stopping to nectar at bramble and thistle flowers. The caterpillar feeds on violets, typically common dog-violet and marsh violet The small pearl-bordered fritillary first emerges in South West England in May. The timing of emergence moves gradually northwards, and it does not appear until June in Scotland. Its early appearance in the south means a second brood is possible
Swallow Tail Swallowtail butterflies are large, colorful butterflies that form the family Papilionidae. Swallowtails differ from all other butterflies in a number of anatomical traits. Most notably, their caterpillars possess a unique organ behind their heads, called the osmeterium. Normally hidden, this forked structure can be everted when the caterpillar is threatened, and emits smelly secretions containing terpenes. The adults are often tailed like the forked tail of some swallows, giving the insect its name. Today active management of the fenland, where reed and sedge are cut to allow other plants to grow, plays an important part in the survival of the swallowtail in Norfolk. With this continued fenland management, the future for the swallowtail looks brighter
Brown Argus The Brown argus is a small butterfly that is on the wing throughout the summer, between May and September. Adults feed on Common Rock-rose, which is also the caterpillars' foodplant, together with various species like Crane's-bills. The Brown argus is found in dry, sunny and open habitats, including heathland and downland, and seems to be expanding its range as the climate warms up Found across southern and central England and parts of the Welsh coast.
Wall Brown The Wall brown is a medium-sized butterfly which is on the wing in two or three broods, between the middle of April and the end of October. It is a widespread, but declining, butterfly of hot, sunny places such as open grassland, sand dunes and rocky foreshores, disused quarries and railway cuttings, and even gardens. Caterpillars feed on a variety of grasses including False Broom and Tor-grass A scarce butterfly found in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland, particularly around the coast
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