Wildlife to Visit of the Order Lepidoptera

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta )
Bluebell woods.
Carpet of Bluebells. © Angie Muldowney cc
Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta )
Bluebell woods.
Carpet of Bluebells. © Angie Muldowney cc

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There are 58 wildlife species pictured below. Some species can only be seen during certain months. Wildlife that has been observed at this time of year are shown first preceeded by a green bar. Wildlife that can be seen at a different time of year is show last preceeded by a blue bar.

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Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) Early April to late October.
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Family: Lycaenidae (Blue)

Habitat: Farmland, gardens and parks, grassland, heathland, meadows and orchards.

Size: Length 17 mm (0.7 in). Wingspan 29-36 mm (1.1-1.4 in).

Food: Common bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and other legumes.

Flight: Early April to late October.

Females are dark brown with bright orange spots near the wing tips. Both male and female have black and white borders.

Common Blue ♂ (Polyommatus icarus) © MTM arr
White Admiral (Limenitis camilla) Early June to late August.
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Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed)

Habitat: Woodland.

Size: Length 30 mm (1.2 in)

Food: Bramble blossom, honeydew and honeysuckle (Lonicera).

Flight: Early June to late August.

Underside of wings are orange brown. Glides elegantly and basks in dappled shade.

White Admiral (Limenitis camilla) © D. Gordon E. Robertson cc
Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) Early June to late September.
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Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed)

Habitat: Woodland, hedgerows and scrub.

Size: Length 35 mm (1.4 in).

Food: Violets (Viola).

Flight: Early June to late September.

Rapid gliding twisted flight.

Named after the beautiful streaks of silver on the underside of the wings.

Silver Washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) © Hans Gasperl cc
Chalkhill Blue (Polyommatus coridon) Early July to late September.
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Family: Lycaenidae (Blue)

Habitat: Lowland calcareous grassland.

Size: Length 18 mm (0.7 in). Wingspan 33-40 mm (1.3- 1.6 in).

Food: Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa).

Flight: Early July to late September.

Females are dark brown. Both male and female have black and white borders.

Chalkhill Blue ♂ (Polyommatus coridon) © Gail Hampshire cc
Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) Early June to late August.
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Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed)

Habitat: Grasslands, woodland and arable field margins.

Size: Length 22-28 mm (0.9-1.1 in).

Food: Grasses (larva). Thistles, Knapweeds, Clovers, Marjoram, Thyme and Yarrow (adult).

Flight: Early June to late August.

Winter is passed as a small lime-green caterpillar.

Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) ♂ © jacinta lluch valero cc
Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) Early May to late September.
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Family: Lycaenidae (Blue)

Habitat: Grasslands, heathlands, woodland and lowland calcareous grassland.

Size: 14 mm (0.6 in).

Food: CommonRock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium), Dove's-foot Cranesbill(Geranium molle) and Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium).

Flight: Early May to late September.

Both male and female are brown in colour.

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) © Hectonicus cc
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) Early February to late November.
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Family: Lycaenidae (Blue)

Habitat: Grassland, heathland, woodland and lowland calcareous grassland.

Size: Length 14 mm (0.6 in).

Food: Sorrels and docks.

Flight: Early February to late November. In two or three broods.

A very active little butterfly that moves from plant to plant feeding and occasionally basking in the sunlight. Males are very territorial.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) © MTM arr
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Early May to late October.
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Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed)

Habitat: Gardens and parks, meadows, coastal and sea cliffs.

Size: Length 30 mm (1.2 in.) Wingspan ♀ 70-78 mm (2.8-3.1 In.). ♂ 64-72 mm (2.5-2.8 In.)

Food: Stinging nettle and ivy.

Flight: Early May to late October.

Both a resident and a migrant butterfly.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) © MTM arr
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) Early July to late September.
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Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed)

Habitat: Arable field margins, hedgerows, scrub and woodland clearings and edges.

Size: Length 19 mm (0.7 In).

Food: Grasses.

Flight: Early July to late September.

Also known as the hedge brown, it is often found near country gates and styles, hence the name.

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) ♂ © Duncan cc
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) Early May to late September.
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Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed)

Habitat: Grasslands, meadows, woodland, arable field margins and hedgerows.

Size: Length 25 mm (1 in).

Food: Grasses (larva). Thistles, Blackberries, Daisies, Cow Parsip, etc (adult).

Flight: Early May to late September.

Males are less colourful and more active and range furtherthan the females. Winter passed as a small bright green caterpillar.

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) ♀ © David Short cc
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