Saturday, 23 July 2016

A Wealden Wood in July

By July, all the summer woodland species of butterfly that occur in East Sussex are on the wing and it is a joy to watch the majestic Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) and elegant White Admiral (Limenitis camilla) flying along the woodland edges. This is also the time of year that I go looking for the Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia quercus), an elusive butterfly that spends most of its time in the woodland canopy. You can chance upon quercus at any time of day when it ventures to the woodland floor but I find that the best times to increase your chances of seeing it low down are early morning and early evening. Either way, plenty of patience is required.
Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) (male)
Silver-washed Fritillary (A.paphia) (female)

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) (male)

Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia quercus)
A male basking in the lower branches of an oak tree.

 The following photographs are of  3 different females that have come to bask or feed on honeydew, low down on vegetation beneath a large oak that contained a quercus colony. Such visits are usually brief.

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) (male)
Longhorn sp. (Strangalia maculata)

Longhorn sp. (Strangalia quadrifasciata)

Common Lizard (Lacerta vivipara)

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