White Admiral

White Admiral

(Limentitis camilla)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wingspan:
Male 60mm, Female 64mm 

Description
The sexes are similar but the male is smaller and darker than the female. The upperwings are a dark brown, almost black with a conspicuous broad white band across both wings. On the male a small orange mark can be seen on the upper hindwing. this orange highlights the darker marking that edge the upperwings. The underwings are an bright orange bronze, also with the white band with additional white near the body.

Your Photograph's 
 

Flight Period
End June - Mid August 

Larval Food plants
Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum)
 

Habitat Requirements
Woodland with lots of shade

Wiltshire Status
Frequent, local, only in woodland
UK & Wiltshire BAP species

Wiltshire Sites
Bentley Wood
Biss Wood
Green Lane Wood
Somerford Common
Red Lodge Wood

Earliest sightings 

Earliest county record
2nd June 2011, Bentley Wood, David Lambert
 

Earliest Sightings
2013 29th June Red Lodge Wood  Robin Griffiths

2012

 24th June

Bentley Wood 

Via David Lambert

2011

2nd June 

Bentley Wood

David Lambert

2010

 23rd June

White Parish Common
Black Dog Woods
Bentley Wood 

Pat Woodruffe
Piers Mobsby
Steve Button 

2009

13th June 

 Bentley Wood

David Lambert 

2008

 20th June

Bentley Wood

Via David Lambert

2007

9th June

Bentley Wood

David Lambert

Latest county record
29th August 1977

Painted Lady

 

Painted Lady
(Vanessa Cardui)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wingspan:
Male 64mm, Female 70mm 

Description
The upperwings are a pinkish orange with a mottling of black patches. The apex of the forewing are black with several white patches. The underside of the forewing is a dull version of the upperside. The underside of the hindwing is an intricate patter of white, greys and fawns. Several, yellow bordered, bluish black centered eyespots are located near the edge of the hindwing. The pale veins are also conspicuous.

Your Photograph's

Flight Period
Arrive from late March with number building to May/June. Their offspring peak in early August

Larval Food plants
Thistles (Cirsium spp & Carduus spp)
Common Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Habitat Requirements
Found in a wide variety of habitats 

Wiltshire Status
Frequent to common immigrant

Wiltshire Sites
Anywhere in the county 

Earliest sightings 

Earliest county record
8th January 1899 

 

Early Sightings
2013 26th April Grovely Wood Frank Crosier
2012 16th May Dinton Hill John Fishwick
2011 16th April Sidbury Hill Marc Taylor
2010 9th April Wellhead, Westbury Mervyn Tyte
2009 18th April Chisenbury Bob Hastie
2008 14th May ATE SPE Beeches Barn Bob Hastie
2007 15th March Salisbury Piers Mobsby

 

Latest county record
13th December 2000
 

Purple Emperor

    Purple Emperor
     (Apatura iris)

 

 

 

 

 

Wingspan 70-92mm
Average Male 75mm, Female 84mm

Description
This magnificent, enigmatic butterfly is one of the most sought after UK species. Its large size and purple sheen of the male is well worth any effort made to seek it. The female lacks the iridescence of the male but the white band is broader. The undersides of both sexes are a mix of browns grey orange and white.

Your photograph's

Flight Period
The last days of June to Early August

Larval Food plants
Goat Willow (sallow) Salix caprea,
Grey Willow (Salix cinerea)

Habitat
Large broadleaved woods and forests

Status
Resident: Elusive, very local, in woodland only.


Wiltshire Sites
Savernake forest
Bentley Wood
Everleigh Ashes
 

Earliest Sightings
Historic:  Earliest county record: 10th June 1893
Modern: Earliest county record: 23rd June 2007 & 2010

 

Early Sightings
2013 10th July Bentley Wood (Notebook) Via David Law
2012 5th July Bentley Wood Richard Banbury
2011 26th June Bentley Wood Ben Cooke
2011 26th June Grovely Wood Steve Button
2011 26th June Clarendon Forest Palace Granville Pictor
2010 23rd June Black Dog Wood Steve Button
2009 28th June Bentley Wood Mike Gibbons
2008 28th June Bentley Wood Mike Duffy
2007 23rd June Bentley Wood David Ransom

Latest county record
6th September 1956


 

Red Admiral

                      

Red Admiral

(Vanessa atalanta)

 

 

 

 

 
 


Wingspan
Male 67mm, Female 72mm 

Description
An unmistakable butterfly, when basking open winged, the soft black of the upperwings provides the canvas for a vivid red band that streaks diagonally across the forewing and along the trailing edge of the hindwing. This lower red band is marked with small black dots and a small violet blue patch at the centre. The apex of the forewing also contains striking white patches. The underside of the forewing resembles the upperside, the underside of the hindwing is a mottled arrangement of browns, greys and black which provides camouflage when the forewing is hidden behind it.

Your photograph's

Flight Period
Migrant numbers build through May & June and their offspring peak mid-August to early October.
The Red Admiral can be seen in any month of the year.

Larval Food plants
Common Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Hop (Humulus lupulus) 
Pellitory-of-the-wall (Parietaria judaica)
Small Nettle (Urtica urens)

Habitat Requirements
commonest in Gardens, hedgerows, orchards, woods
can be in any habitat and at any altitude. 

Wiltshire Status
Frequent to common, widespread immigrant, usually overwintering.

Wiltshire Sites
Can be seen anywhere 

Earliest sightings
Earliest county record
2007: 1st January, Upper Chute Joon Moon

Early Sightings
2013 1st January Westbury Leigh garden via Nick Wynn
2012 2nd January Bentley Wood Paul Guymer
2012 2nd January near Stockton Stephanie Lockhart
2011 11th January Swindon Peter Brash (via Matthew Oates)
2010 18th January Stratton St Margaret (Swindon) Desmond Ponting
2009 10th February Bentley Wood Mike Gibbons
2008 14th January West Swindon Rebecca Harker
2007 1st January Upper Chute John Moon

Latest county record

31st December  2006, Bradford-on Avon, Peter Wills

Small Tortoiseshell

 

           Small Tortoiseshell

                (Aglais urticae)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wingspan:
50mm Male 56mm female

Description
A familiar butterfly with both sexes similar. Bright orange upperwings with a dark border which contain violet blue crescents. The leading edge of the orange forewing has three dark patches which are divided by two pale yellow areas. Three small black patches are found closer to the centre of the forewing. The underwings are mainly black except for a large pale orange patch on the forewing.

Your photograph's
 

Flight Period
Can be seen in any month

Larval Food plants

Stinging Nettles
Common Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Small Nettle (Urtica urens)
 

Habitat Requirements
No specific habitat requirements apart from larval food plant
 

Wiltshire Status
Recovering from scarcity, widespread

Wiltshire Sites
Anywhere in the county

Earliest sightings 
Earliest county record : 1st January 2010 Geoff Brown
 

 

Early Sightings
2013 15th February Markham Banks, Wroughton Steve Covey
2012 26th February Honey Street Malcolm Royal
2011 8th January Bradforn-on-Avon garden Jonquill Burgess
2010 1st January Wroughton Geoff Brown
2009 2nd March Roundway, Devizes Beatrice Gillam
2008 6th February Hilperton Ian Bartlet
2007 26th January Marlborough Laura Mynott

Latest county record
31st December 1970

Peacock

AlderburyGerald NichollsAlderburyGerald NichollsAlderburyGerald NichollsGerald Nicholls2013

Your Photographs

Peacock
Inachis io

Wingspan: 63-69mm

 

Description
This beautiful large butterfly is one of the easiest to identify. The base colour is chestnut red, marked with black with a purple eyespot on each wing.

Flight Period
Like the Small Tortoiseshell & Comma the Peacock overwinters as an adult, often in outhouses and garages.it can be one of the first butterflies to be seen in the year. It can be seen in most moths but is scarce between mid-June to mid-July.

Larval Food plants
Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Habitat Requirements
Woods, Copses, Hedgerows and mature gardens.

Wiltshire Status
Resident, common / frequent and widespread,

Wiltshire Sites
Occurs in all suitable habitat.

Earliest sightings

Earliest county record:
1st January 1999 & 2000
 

Early Sightings
       
2014      
2013 5th March

Devizes
Blakehill
Great Chalfield
Bradford-on- Avon

Tony Coultiss 
Robin Griffiths
Charlie Moores
Mike Fuller
2012 23rd February Alderbury Gerald Nicholls
2011 11th January Bradford on Avon Jonquil Burgess
2010 6th January Melksham Rachel Honeysett
2009 14th February Harnham garden Pam Rouquette
2008 28th January Swindon Martin Buckland
2007 26th January Marlborough Laura Mynott

Latest county record 
28th December 2002

 

Comma

 Your Photographs

Comma
(Polygonia c-album)

Wingspan: 55-60mm

Description
The closed jagged wings of the Comma give the appearance of a dead leaf. This camouflage protects it whist it roosts and over winters. On the underside a distinctive small white comma shaped mark give this butterfly its name. The orange upperwing is blotched with brown and black.

 

Flight Period
The Comma overwinters as an adult so is one of the first butterflies to be seen in the year. It can be seen in most moths but is scarce in May & June.

Larval Food plants

Hop (Humulus sp)
Elm (Ulmus sp)
Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Habitat Requirements
Woods, Copses, Hedgerows and mature gardens.

Wiltshire Status
Resident, common / frequent and widespread,

Wiltshire Sites
Occurs in all suitable habitat.

Earliest sightings
Earliest county record: 23rd January 1969

 

Early Sightings
2013 5th March Bulbridge, Wilton garden John Muggleton
2012 1st March Tisbury via David Rear
2011 10th February Salisbury Tim Bail 
2010 2nd March Westbury garden Nick Wynn
2009 7th March Alderbury garden Gerald Nicholls 
2008 7th February Picket Wood Mike Fuller
2007 6th March Salisbury Garden Piers Mobsby

Latest county record
10th December 2009