Visited my local Gloucestershire wood today, where I've followed a small batch of Purple Emperor larvae since mid-October ('Boris', 'Rishi', 'Priti' & Co...), just in time to find 'Jacob' freshly emerged on his pupal case. This photo sequence may be Too Much for some viewers, especially Neil Hulme (who will turn a wondrous shade of putrid green) -
Note the tree guard in the background - this was a lovely Pearl-bordered Fritillary site a few years back.
After an hour, he basked in full gloriousness for a minute, then took off to fly the golden sky that calls itself July, and create chaos -
This the the first Emperor adult ever seen in this wood - I discovered the colony as larvae. I glimpsed one other (distant) male. These are the first seen in Gloucestershire this year, making Glos the last of the known Purple counties to produce adults this year.
I'm heading back to Knepp tomorrow, where the season has entered it's second half. Neil was there all day today and, in perfect weather conditions, found the Emperors rather lethargic: they've stopped coming down to feed on the tracks and are ceasing sallow searching and becoming creatures of afternoon territories. Advise: Don't visit Knepp hoping to see males down on the ground, visit in the afternoons and look for males on territory in the canopy gaps.
Males are still coming down to the rides a lot in Fermyn Woods, but may have stopped doing so by next weekend.