Sunday, June 20, 2010

The 2010 Purple Emperor Season

Gentlemen, iris is unlikely to appear on the wing before the end of June. I expect the first males at the early sites in Surrey, W Sussex and E Hampshire to appear on Sun 27th June at the earliest. That estimate has been brought forward, following this evening's Countryfile weather forecast, which is predicting a hot and sunny week. I suspect that at most sites the season will not start before 1st July. I may be wrong... but my prediction is derived from following larvae closely in the wild, together with observations of a small captive-bred sample.

At my study sites in mid Wilts, larvae were still around on Sat 19th June, and none had pupated by Sat 12th. Moreover, in captivity, where the butterfly is usually earlier, at present only seven out of 10 larvae have pupated. The butterfly usually spends two to three weeks in the pupal state.

Keep checking this website: the first iris of the Immortal 2010 Season will be reported here.... it's just a matter of who, when and where.....

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