Tuesday 27 December 2011

Plain Tiger

The Plain Tiger butterfly is a  powerful and wide-ranging African migrant.Although found along the  European coast of Mediterranean Sea it is mainly seen as a migrant.However breeding populations have become established in some localities,including Greece.The following photographs were taken not in Greece, but on the Red Sea coast at Dahab,Egypt towards the end of December.
Its LHP includes Milkweed and the butterfly can readily be found in coastal gullies close to cultivated areas and gardens.
Only two members of this Danaidae family of butterflies are found in Europe,the other being the Monarch.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Tree Grayling

This rather sombre butterfly is found in most of Southern Europe.It is widespread and common in the Mediterranean region with a flight period from late June to October in one brood.This one was seen on the island of Alonisoss,Greece.

Monday 28 November 2011

Common Blue

The Common Blue butterfly is found throughout Britain and Ireland and therefore is our most widely distributed of the blues. On the Isle of Wight it can be seen from April onwards and generally has two broods.The male has violet-blue wings,edged with black and clear white margins.This feature helps seperate it from other blue species.Females can be very variable,ranging from the usual brown form with a hint of blue, to beautiful blue varieties with orange markings.The undersides of both sexes are similar.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Pearl Bordered Fritillary

The Pearl-bordered Fritillary and the Small Pearl-bBordered Fritillary are both on the verge of extinction on the Isle of Wight.There is only one known location for the Pearl-bordered on the Island which is Parkhurst Forest on the outskirts on Newport.It is a butterfly of woodland clearings and seems to have declined all over Britain too.This fritillary is the first to appear in mid-April,and is normally single brooded.It can be seen feeding on the flowers of spring plants such as Bugle,Primrose,and Buttercups.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Dingy Skipper

The Dingy Skipper is found on the Isle of Wight in a variety of habitats.However the larger colonies are found on our south facing downland.It is on the wing from mid April to late June and is often seen in the company of the Grizzled Skipper.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Wood White

The Wood White butterfly is resident in Britain but not on the Isle of Wight.These photos are from Lefkada in Greece.A dainty butterfly with a flappy flight,it is widespread in Europe and can be seen in S.Euorpe from April to September.Found in a very wide range of habitats.

Friday 11 November 2011


The Brimstone can be seen in March or earlier when it appears after winter hibernation.It will feed on a variety of flowers from primroses and daffodils in the spring to thistles and other purple flowers in the autumn.The male is a sulphur yellow whereas the female is a pale greenish white.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Large Skipper

The Large Skipper  is one of our most common skippers,normally appearing in late May and gone by late August.It can be found in a variety of habitats on the Isle of Wight, from our downland to woodland rides and along rough verges. 

Friday 4 November 2011

Ilex Hairstreak

This hairstreak has an extensive range from Spain through central  and southern Europe to Greece and Turkey.it is generally common and has a flight period from late May to August.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Green Hairstreak

This is the smallest hairstreak and the most common of this species.It is found in a variety of habitats on the Isle of Wight and indeed all over Britain and Ireland from chalk downland to moorland and scrubby hillsides.This butterfly overwinters as a chrysalis and is therefore one of the first to appear in the spring,usually in April.
The brown upperside is rarely seen as it always settles with its wings firmly closed. The second photograph  however shows some of the upperside  as this butterfly has lost part of its hindwing.

Monday 31 October 2011

Purple Hairstreak.

The Purple Hairstreak is the only British butterfly that is solely reliant on the oak tree to complete its life cycle.It feeds mainly on honeydew produced by aphids normally high up in an oak or ash tree.Visits to flowers are not common.It is a handsome insect with flashes of purple on the uppersurface of the wings and an underside of silvery grey.

Monday 24 October 2011

The Two-tailed Pasha

The Two-tailed Pasha is one of the largest butterflies resident in Europe. Found in Greece and all along the coast of the Mediterranean to Portugal,it is a spectacular butterfly with brown and orange marked upperside and a colourful underside.These photographs were taken on the island of Alonissos in the western Aegean,where this Pasha was defending the ripe fruits of a fig tree from rival male Pashas.The laval host plant of the Pasha is the Strawberry Tree which is found in the north of this island.

Sunday 23 October 2011

Small Tortoiseshell

A very familiar butterfly locally and over most of the UK.One of the first to be seen after hibernation and also later in the year in our gardens feeding on buddleia and michaelmas-daisy.The Small Tortoiseshell lays its eggs on nettles and after several years of apparent decline is hopefully on the increase once more.

Eastern Baton Blue

The Baton Blue butterfly is widespread and common in the south of Europe.In Greece  the Eastern Baton Blue is to be seen and is just as common as its relative farther west.It is a butterfly of hot,dry,grassy and rocky places.The female is brown whereas the male is mainly blue.

Green-veined White

Here on the Isle of Wight  the Green-veined White can be seen in gardens but does prefer damper habitats like woodland rides and meadows.Therefore a walk through any local copse or forest track will hopefully turn up this attractive white butterfly.In Britain it is widespread and in warm years there may be up to three generations which appear from April  to October.

Saturday 22 October 2011

Lattice Brown

This butterfly seems to be restricted,in Europe, to Greece,southern Romania,Bulgaria, and the Dalmatian Coast.The markings tend to be bolder in the female than the male.The Lattice Brown can be seen  from late April to September and in common with some other species will aestivate in the hottest months.The upperside is rarely seen as it feeds and rests with its wings closed.

Friday 21 October 2011

Small Copper

This butterfly can be found near or on the ground in a variety of habitats.If weather conditions are right,namely hot and sunny,three or more broods may occur,lasting from April to November.The form 'caeruleopunctata' is known and common,with a row of blue spots on the hind wings.


Thursday 20 October 2011

Grass Jewel

The Grass Jewel is the smallest butterfly in Europe.Found in Eastern Greece and various Islands in the Aegean Sea, it is minute and easily overlooked.This butterfly is found in hot,dry places,often near cultivated ground.

The Peacock Butterfly

Thankfully still a common sight in our gardens and countryside.This stunningly beautiful  butterfly has a pair of staring eye-spots to flash and also produces a hissing sound by rubbing its wings together when alarmedPeacocks are normally the first butterfly to be seen in February or March after hibernating during the winterBoth sexes are similar ,however the female is slightly larger.

Silver-studded Blue

Unfortunately the Silver-studded Blue is not present on the Isle of Wight,so although it was a cloudy,damp day in July we visited a site in the New Forest,Hampshire to see this small blue butterfly.In a marshy area low down in the grass tussocks we came across several males and females.Sites for the Silver-studded are restricted in Britain,mainly in the south of England where some large colonies can be seen.