Sunday, April 19, 2020

His Imperial Majesty

My book, His Imperial Majesty, a natural history of the Purple Emperor will be published by Bloomsbury on June 11th. It aims to encourage and enable the proper study and appreciation of this wondrous butterfly, and to give it the future it deserves.

There are pre-publication offers with Amazon (£14.95) and Bloomsbury (£15.29, ebook £14.26). 

Here's the cover - 

More details are on my website, including the contents page:

Ahead of schedule...

Obviously, it's very difficult to do any recording at the moment but one of us has been managing to follow larvae near where he lives in West Sussex, and I'm just managing to keep tabs on some local ones here (and am also prospecting for habitat in my own parish, and finding it - the butterfly should be in the steep wooded upper Frome valley west of Cirencester...).

The news is that many larvae are feeding up rapidly in this dry April. Some had gone into the 4th instar by mid-April, which is the earliest I've recorded that life stage. Conversely, those on late-leafing trees are only just starting to feed now, though they will catch up.

At this stage, it looks as though the flight season will be early. It is possible that a few early males might even appear at the end of May...  Watch this space...