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Monday, 13 June 2016

Ffos Las: the next generation

Its great to see the first individuals of several species of butterfly appearing again this season.  I know that they are common species but they are a welcome sight none the less. It is also good to see species that have been around for some time working towards producing the next generation.

Speckled woods, 5th June

I was walking at the eastern end of Ffos Las on 6th June when I saw a pale butterfly out of the corner of my eye which I initially thought was one of the whites so I didn't pay much attention until it started to oviposit on alder buckthorn which certainly isn't a brassica! It was the palest female brimstones that I have ever seen and unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo of it. However investigation of the shrub revealed some well grown brimstone caterpillars as well as a couple of eggs, photos below.

Above, meadow brown first seen 6th June

I think that this is a silver ground carpet moth, 7th June

The dragons and damsels are out in good numbers now on Ffos Las. This is an emperor ovipositing on 7th June

This is a not very good photo of what I think is a small yellow underwing, 8th June

Drinker moth caterpillar, 9th June

My first ringlet butterfly, 9th June

Painted lady, first seen 6th June, this photo 13th June

I've seen a few of the bright yellow chrysalis cases of the 5-spot burnet moth over the past couple of weeks but this is the first adult that I have seen this year, 13th June

As always any corrections or additional information are gratefully received.


  1. Lovely photos Maggie. Yes, small yellow underwing and a good record too. Interesting stuff on the brimstones. I wish people would plant more alder buckthorn.

  2. Yes excellent photography Maggie, you must have a very good macro zoom on your camera. I think you'll find that the caterpillar is a Drinker Moth.

  3. Thank you Ian and Chris for your comments. I have corrected the identification of the caterpillar - a mental block as I have identified both species of caterpillar several times before.
    I have a nikon P900 bridge camera with a 83X optical zoom which is equivalent to 2000mm in old money so I can photograph flighty subjects from a distance without disturbing them. Subjects such as the caterpillars I take at max wide angle close to the subject which gives a better depth of field and hopefully more in focus as the lens doesn't have macro on it.

  4. Thank you for the camera details Maggie, I have always wondered what equipment fellow contributors are using when they produce such good images, but the information isn't often provided. Up to now I have favoured small compact digitals (Panasonic DMC-TZ10 and Olympus TG4) because they're easy to use, but since I've been concentrating on micros their limitations have become apparent.