Thursday 25 February 2016

Out Enjoying the Sun.

After a frosty start to the day the sun shone in a near cloudless sky this morning.Once the Glanville caterpillars had warmed up they became active and proceeded to bask in the sun near to their web.These webs can have up to 150 individuals and are always close to their foodplant.Should a web with a large numbers of caterpillars exhaust its food supply ,they will move on in search of further Ribwort Plantain.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Defyng the Inclement Weather.

The caterpillars of our own Isle of Wight Glanville Fritillary have a lot to put up with.Their habitat is our coastal cliffs which bare the brunt of winter and spring storms that batter the south west shore of the Island.Still this butterfly is use to all that the weather can throw at it and continues to survive in its unique habitat.
Not surprisingly then, that this morning I came across several glanville webs in which the caterpillars remain until April when they disperse to find a suitable place to pupate.The weather today was particularly cold and wet so they congregate in the web for protection from the elements.On sunny days at this time of year they will become active around the web and feed on their food plant,Ribwort Plantain.
Further information on this special butterfly can be found  here.

Glanville caterpillars huddle up against the wet and cold weather.

Saturday 20 February 2016

The Mallow Skipper.

In contrast to Orientalis the Mallow Skipper is widespread in Southern and Central Europe This species is particularly common in the south of its range and the Greek Islands are no exception.It is the first skipper to appear normally in March and can still be encountered in October.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Oriental Marbled Skipper.

There are many species of skipper found in Greece but one, the Oriental Marbled Skipper is restricted almost wholly to Greece.Here it is widespread and locally common appearing from March to October.
While walking the hillside paths on the Ionian Island of Lefkada I came across this delightful butterfly as it sped low over the ground regularly alighting on stones and bare ground.