21/08/2018

Bonanza of Butterflies


Bonanza of butterflies in Ness Gardens meadow

The hot sunny weather during May, June and July apparently has boosted the abundance of many butterfly species monitored regularly by the wildlife volunteers, at Ness over a period of ten years.







The species-rich meadow was created eleven years ago following the habitat creation plan provided by Dr Phil Putwain. It is now a vibrant assemblage of meadow plants (see ERS May Blog post featuring cowslips), bees, butterflies and numerous other insects.



This summer there were record numbers of Common Blue butterflies (46 in 30 minute count) and also Small and Large whites. Possibly the very hot May and June enhanced survival of larvae for the second summer emergence of Common Blue adults. The grassland species Small Skipper and Small Copper were much more abundant than in previous years whilst Meadow Brown was abundant but substantially less than in 2013 and 2014. 


Other pleasing sightings were Painted Lady, Ringlet and Brimstone. In contrast species in Tribe Nymphalini (Peacock, Red Admiral and Small Tortoishell) have been much less abundant so far this year. The species richness of native perennials is an important element in habitat provision for butterflies.

Bonanza of Butterflies

Bonanza of butterflies in Ness Gardens meadow The hot sunny weather during May, June and July apparently has boosted the abundance o...