Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How Late A Season?

I was predicting iris to start appearing at early sites, such as Bookham Common, on June 30th, and elsewhere from about July 5th.  

That may be over optimistic.  

I visited Alice Holt Forest today, where camilla and paphia hadn't started.  By modern standards that's late.  I was expecting to see the first camilla there.  

The Emperor season begins when camilla is well out and the first paphia females are appearing.  Also, the oak leaves need to be turning blue-green.  Today, only the odd oak was blueing, the vast majority were still rather yellow-leaved.  

Back at the ranch, my third larva has only just pupated, a week after the other two.  It wont emerge before July 12th.  My larvae are synchronized with their North Wilts cousins, a late-flying race.  

It will be interesting to see when the 2015 Purple Emperor season gets going properly...

Friends of the Straits Inclosure in Alice Holt need to be aware that heavy thinning has taken place in the western half of the wood, and that many, if not most, of the breeding sallows in that sector have been destroyed.  The Emperor population in The Straits will have been significantly reduced...  

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