Wednesday 28 March 2012

Large Tortoiseshell on the Isle of Wight

Sightings of the Large Tortoiseshell butterfly have been made at Woodhouse Copse on a regular basis during March and April.This year it seems that if any butterflies were present at the Copse they may have already dispersed,as no sightings to date have been recorded.
Consequently I decided to cut the time spent in visiting the copse and turned my attention to another wood,Walters Copse at Newtown,owned by the National Trust..Not to look for the Large Tortoiseshell but to see what new species of butterfly are now on the wing.The weather has been exceptionally warm during the last weeks and newly emerged species are reported some time ahead of their normal flight times.
Therefore it came as a great surprise to me to stumble upon the elusive Large Tortoiseshell in Walters Copse yesterday the 27th March.
What a magnificent butterfly it is,larger maybe than the Peacock with a light orange upperside.This butterfly pictured is probably a female and maybe looking to lay her eggs on sallow or willow.



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