Monday, November 19, 2012

Iris on the Wireless

Iplayer link to Hulme & Oates's eulogy of His Imperial Majesty as broadcast in In Pursuit of the Ridiculous on Fri Nov 16th. 

Listen if you dare...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Old Abberation

Spotted this for sale on eBay - an un-named aberration collected in Hampshire in 1952 by C W  Burnard - interestingly either the type male show is a very large specimen or the abberation is particularly small?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Superb Bilateral Gynandromorph

Scarlet Mormon Papilio rumanzovia accidentally bred this year at Butterfly World Project near St Albans.  Photo courtesy of Louise Hawkins at BWP.

What we want of course is the equivalent in iris - flat on the deck, pristine, wings open, Fermyn Woods, early July 2013 - with Neil Hulme half a mile away down the other ride... 

Reminder: In Pursuit of the Ridiculous 1.45pm, Radio 4, daily from 12th - 16th Nov, the last 15 mins episode featuring Neil Hulme, myself and His Imperial Majesty the Lord of all the Butterflies on Fri 16th.  No repeat but available on Iplayer. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

2012 Egg Lay

Have finished my annual searches for ova & larvae in & around Savernake Forest.  Conclusion, the 2012 'egg lay' was almost exactly the same as is 2011 (i.e. lousy).  Data -

     2009     141
     2010      56
     2011      24
     2012      23

This is determined by ~40 hours of systematic searching for ova & larvae in a standardised manner, in the same areas, in relatively stable habitat conditions. 

Note that the Savernake data are not representative of any UK trend, as the butterfly had a patchy season in 2012 - being generally poor (as in Savernake) but faring much better in some other areas (e.g. Bucks / Oxon and Bookham Common).

About half the larvae are now in hibernation, but the odd one is still in Lincoln green and one (green) larva was actually observed feeding yesterday (3rd November) - the latest I've seen one feeding.  Here's a photo of a classic (wild) autumn larva hiding in a leaf tip rain drip -

NB  In Pursuit of the Ridiculous  Radio 4  Fri 16th Nov  1.45pm  
15 mins of Purple Affairs...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Iris on the Wireless

First Notification:  His Imperial Majesty will make a dramatic appearance on the wireless, on BBC Radio 4 at 1.45pm on Fri November 16th.  

In Pursuit of the Ridiculous examines point and pointlessness in natural history obsessions.  A series of five 15 minute programmes will be broadcast between the World At One and The Archers during the week starting November 12th. 

The final, explosive and conclusive episode features Hulme & Oates and our obsession with the Monarch of all the Butterflies.  After the broadcast, Hulme and Oates will undoubtedly be sectioned...

Other episodes concern an obsession with the pointless water beetle Agabus brunneus, pointlessness in orchid hybridisation, the futility of twitching, and a banal interest in slugs...

(Mr Hulme is currently helping police with their inquiries)

Riddle of the Purple Emperor

This is a sanitised spin-off of the erotic classic by Hulme & Oates.  The original is, of course, a true story...