Friday, July 27, 2012

Fermyn Wood Aberrations

So far this season at least six aberrant specimens (rare colour forms) have been seen and photographed in Fermyn Woods, including one female.  Two individuals were photographed today (see forthcoming post by Neil Hulme). 

Below are photos of what I take to be the same specimen of what is probably ab lugenda, the first two photos taken on Tues 24th by Phil Beard and the bottom one by Rev John Woolmer on Thurs 26th.  Our congrats and thanks to Phil and John.

Incidentally, I have long suspected that Purple Emperor aberrations (or variations) are proportionally no rarer than White Admiral aberrations, it's just that we see far more of the latter!

1 comment:

Derek Longhurst said...

Are we assuming that these varieties are "caused" by unusual thermal conditions during pupation? My understanding is that the Victorians got quite good at "cooking" pupae to produce a higher proportion of varieties.

In which case - are these perhaps a result of the wet/cool conditions this year?