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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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
Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) All year round.
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Family: Hesperiidae (skipper)

Habitat: Grassland.

Size: 14 mm. Wingspan 2.5 to 2.9 cm.

Food: Cock's-foot, creeping soft grass, couch grass, timothy-grass, meadow foxtail, false brome and tor-grass.

Flight: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

Almost identical to the small skipper but has black-tipped antennae. The caterpillar is green, with yellow incisions between its rings.

Essex Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) © Gail Hampshire cc
Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) All year round.
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Papilio machaon brittanicus

Family: Papilionidae (Swallowtail)

Habitat: Fenland.

Food: Milk parsley (Peucedanum palustre)

Flight: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Data Deficient

The swallowtail butterfly is the largest british native butterfly, it is also one of the rarest, living only in some Norfolk fens.

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) © LittleDan cc
Berger's Clouded Yellow (Colias alfacariensis) All year round.
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Family: Pieridae (Yellows-and-Whites)

Habitat: Grassland and meadows.

Food: Horseshoe vetch and crown vetch.

Flight: All year round.

Considered as a rare migrant.

Flies fast and direct.

Berger's Clouded Yellow (Colias alfacariensis) © Charlie Jackson cc
(Henotesia narcissus narcissus) All year round.
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Family: Nymphalidae

Habitat: Gardens and parks, grassland and woodland.

Food: Larvae: Grasses including bamboos.

Flight: All year round.

(Henotesia narcissus narcissus) © Gail Hampshire cc
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
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