- field notes by Adrian Hoskins
sightings of each brood are highlighted in bold type
Friday 30th January
Sporadic sightings of Red
Admirals are still being reported from Hampshire,
Buckinghamshire and East Sussex despite the severe frosts
that hit Britain a few days ago. Amazingly there have also
been reports of Red Admiral and Large White caterpillars
surviving frosts along the coast of East Sussex !
You might be interested to read about the
Monarchs which overwinter in the freezing arid Mojave
Desert of California
Despite mild and sunny conditions this afternoon at Stansted
Forest I failed to see any butterflies, indicating that
survival of Red Admirals this year has been extremely low
compared to previous years (
see chart ). Brimstones and Commas are still in
hibernation, but I have received reports of early emergence
of several moths - Spring Usher, Mottled Umber, Pale
Brindled Beauty, and Early moth, as well as the expected
Winter moth, which may be a sign that we can expect an early
start to the butterfly season.
Saturday 17th January
There have been reports from other observers of Red Admirals
in different parts of Hampshire on 13th and 14th January,
but I haven't personally seen a butterfly since 6th December
when I saw a Red Admiral in Stansted Forest. Today however I
can report my first moth of the year - a fresh
commonly known as the Many-plumed moth. This odd looking species is a member of
the Alucitidae, a small family with 186 known species
worldwide, many of which have only recently been discovered.
Unlike most butterflies and moths their wings have no
membranes. Instead their fore and hind wings each consist of
6 feathery plumes - each comprising of a rigid spine
from which branch dozens of long thin plume-like scales.
Thursday 1st January
Many changes have been
made to the website in recent weeks, - the photo galleries
have been given a new look, providing instant access to full
sized images and lengthy articles about each species. New
galleries of moths, caterpillars and Amazonian insects have
also been added, bringing the total number of pages to over
600, and the number of images now well in excess of 1500.
During 2009 it is planned to expand the site further to
include many more species from around the world, and to
further improve the presentation and content throughout the
website. I hope you enjoy all the changes and additional
material, and wish all visitors a Happy New Year !
policy - details of certain sites where visitor pressure
or trampling may pose a threat to butterflies or alienate
landowners are excluded from these pages.