Glasgow & SW Scotland Butterflies

Glasgow & SW Scotland Branch Website

June 9, 2010

Some photos of Lepidoptera in 2010

Filed under: Butterflies, Moths — Andrew Masterman @ 3:06 pm

The Pebble Hook-tip is one of six species of moth belonging to the family Drepanidae which occur in the UK. Hook-tip refers to the tips of the forewings which are strongly hooked.

The photo below was taken at Glasdrum on 29 May 2010 during the Chequered Skipper weekend and is of the scotica sub species.

 Pebble Hook -tip

If you are unsure of the difference between the underwings of a Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, compare the next two photos.

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

The following is the upper-side of the same Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Now for something completely different!

 The Tussock moths of the family Lymantriidae are so-named because of the characteristic tufts of hair on the backs of the caterpillars. The caterpillar of the Dark Tussock is a good example as it has white tufts either side of a black stripe in the middle of the body with yellow tufts at either end!

Dark Tussock caterpillar at Schiehallion 26 May 2010

This second photo of another Dark Tussock caterpillar is quite kitten-ish!

Another Dark Tussock caterpillar near Trinafour, Perthshire 17 may 2010

Talking of hairy caterpillars, the “Woolly Bear” caterpillar of the Garden Tiger must now be mentioned. This amazing caterpillar is presumably a good example of how evolution by natural selection can produce extreme morphology!

“Woolly Bear” caterpillar of the Garden Tiger at Schiehallion 26 May 2010

The Broad-bordered White Underwing is a Red data Book  species found only above about 2000 ft in Scotland although one was recorded on the summit of Cheviot in Northumberland on 12 June 1974. Most Scottish records are from the central Highlands. Twenty five were found near the summit of Meall Breac (802 m) on the south-east side of Loch rannoch on 31 May 2010 and a further three on neighbouring Geal Charn.

Broad-bordered White Underwing on Geal Charn 26 May 2010

An even rarer mountain moth is the Small Dark Yellow Underwing which is classified as Nationally Scarce A.  This mountain moth flies very fast and occurs in low numbers and is very difficult to detect. One was found on the top of Meall Breac, Loch Rannoch after 4 hours searching and another found on Schiehallion after 5 hours searching. A very attractive moth but a real blighter to find!

Small Dark Yellow Underwing Meall Breac 31 May 2010

Another moth of the mountains is the Emperor which is the only UK member of the moth family Saturniidae. The large green caterpillars with pink spots which you can find on heather in August are spectacular but so too are the adults! The photo below is of the larger female - an Emperess? - which is quite mesmerizing.

Female Emperor moth at Schiehallion 19 May 2010

Another moth characteristic of heather moorland is the Common Heath and the males have spectacular feathered antennae. 

Male Common Heath at Schiehallion 30 May 2010

Returning to butterflies, the Green Hairstreak is a butterfly which can be found on heather moorland as its caterpillars feed on Blaeberry.

Green Hairstreak at Trinafour, Perthshire 17 may 2010

Written by Andrew Masterman

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