Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Iris Aberrations Summary

For those that like a little variety ... I've beefed up the iris aberration summary at UK Butterflies. If you have images that I can use then send them to me with date and location please ( iris aberrations

And to add to the current spate of videos - here's ilia, f. clytie, doing his stuff :) Taken in Hungary last year.


- Pete

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pupal Case Found!

The other day, somewhere in Savernake, I spotted this - the basal section of one of last year's pupal cases (female I suspect), on one of the few leaves that are still attached (by silk).  This is important as there are very few records of iris pupae being found in the wild, and this counts as a record.  It was about 4m up on the south side of a shaded female S. caprea that's been used 4 years running. 

Chitin is clearly amazing stuff.

This butterfly just gets better and better....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lesser Purple Emperors On Former Fox

A couple of excellent images of Lesser cousin ilia feeding on a fox carcass, taken near the River Isonzo at Gorizia on the Italian/Slovenian border. Simon Kovacic also snapped c-album on the snout of the deceased beast. Nice work Simon!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I have recently come across the following preposterous statement: 'The Purple Emperor butterfly haunts especially the richly coloured geranium on which it is very difficult to detect.'  This utter tosh is by a Victorian 'nature' writer called John Watson who wrote in the 1880s as an imitator of the great Richard Jefferies (a friend of Savernake and the Emperor). 

We are trying to find out where Watson's mortal remains lies, so that we can exhume his corpse and use it as a bait next July, and stick his skull on a pike at the entrance to Fermyn Woods. 

Has anyone come across a more disgraceful inaccuracy?

Disgusted of Tetbury

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Female on the Deck :)

Not the best of vids  - but it's not every day you see a female "on the deck" :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

In response to Matthew's call for Purple Emperor videos, here's my offering. 

The video quality isn't great (particularly the part at the beginning where He's flying), but I hope you agree that it's worth it for those flashes of brilliant purple!

Images taken at Bookham Common 2012,by Gail Browne


I hope you enjoy the photographs, I have so much more to contribute & who knows what 2013 may bring! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Wonderful youtube video

Long and lovely video piece by Gail Browne of a male iris on her hand at Bookham Common last summer.  Essential viewing, enjoy! 

We need a lot more video clips on this website, kindly oblige!

Japan's National Butterfly

Japan's got it right  see

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Kicks Off!

Stupendous start to the 2013 Purple Emperor season!  I found a new hibernating larva in Savernake Forest, whilst checking known larvae.  The new one, high on a known breeding tree (used 3 out of the last 4 years) was found after I spotted a pair of old seat leaves dangling in the air, still attached by larval silk. 

This was about 5m up on an outer branch, out of reach.  The larva was then found by scanning with binoculars. 

Note that it is unlikely that iris will emerge in anything other than low numbers this year, so we must again aim for quality rather than quantity...