Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Early News from 2023...

Welcome to Emperoring in 2023... This is, by the way, my 60th year of butterflying (I started late, having wasted time birding...).

The good(ish) news is that Purple Emperor larvae seem to be overwintering quite well. I have lost none to predation at my local study site, though only with a modest sample; and none in Savernake Forest (small sample), where losses are normally high. 

However, I have lost four out of five at my Lambourn study site. I'm not sure why losses are so high there. I'm not even sure what constitutes a viable sample... The more I study this butterfly, the less I understand it...

Just up from Knepp in West Sussex, Ben Greenaway has lost only six out of 20, which isn't too bad.

However, February and early March constitutes the crunch time (pardon the pun...).  

Fingers crossed...

Here are some of my babies -

 A classic by the bud 'pillar

In frost


'Boris the 3rd', in a branch fork