Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Towards Closing Time...

The Emperor season is now quite well into its second half. The bulk of the butterflies could burn out quite quickly in this hot weather. Be warned.

Also, quite a few of them may well disperse.  This something we've rather overlooked hitherto. I've been amazed by the extent to which the males have been wandering at Knepp this year. Relatively few have been setting up territories, most sightings have been of males exploring extensively.

Two ab. lugendas have been photographed: a pristine female in Fermyn Woods, Northants, and a splendid male in the Notts site. Also, I saw a lugenda-type male at Knepp, in flight, from beneath - they look very red from below. But it got beaten up by a typical male and wandered off.

This coming weekend will be the final good one for this season. Make the most of it.   

Here's Herself cleaning her tongue in a bush - 

Apologies for my lack of postings but my laptop system doesn't like the new Knepp wifi or vice versa...


brian duncan said...

Interesting point re dispersal. I've noted the same at Abbots wood where the butterfly is active over a wider area than I've seen in recent years. The well known Oak tree assembly point in contrast seems very lightly used.

BB said...

Hi Brian
Twice I have seen males flying out of Abbotts low along the hedge by High Thicket road towards Straits. And it was always said that males flew out of Straits in numbers in the early afternoon in the general direction of Goose Green although I have not witnessed this and have seen males as late as 7:30pm in Straits? Maybe the weather has influenced different behaviours this year?
Kind Regards

Tony Baines said...

Differing habitats as well as varying species density from year to year may well have a bearing on male behaviour. When there are numerous females and other males around it is possibly worth males searching in sallows and at low level for newly emerged females as the chance of finding them is relatively high and if they don't do that another male probably will. With lower densities the waiting at a high point strategy might be more effective as active searching is likely to be akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. This may explain why, especially early in the season, different behaviour patterns are noted in different places and from year to year. By this logic any partial second brood this year should be most visible by checking high spots for males.