Glasgow & SW Scotland Butterflies

Glasgow & SW Scotland Branch Website

July 21, 2010

Argyll is alive with the fluttering wings of Scotch Argus

Filed under: Butterflies — Andrew Masterman @ 7:58 pm

Although we have yet to receive the first sighting of a Scotch Argus in 2010 on the date of writing this blog post (21 July 2010), the first ones are very likely on the wing now.

While the Scotch Argus can be found in much of highland Scotland and in parts of southern Scotland, the greatest numbers occur in Argyll where for a few weeks from late  July to early September each year, the multitudes of this stunning butterfly are an amazing butterfly spectacle! You can find them everywhere in Argyll: along roadsides; in woodland rides; on hillsides, on coasts etc. Although they are only on the wing for two months of the year (mid-July to mid September), the Scotch Argus is Argyll’s most numerous butterfly.

As the flight period progresses, Scotch Argus become progressively more worn and tatty. To see Scotch Argus at their best, you need to visit Argyll between late July and mid-August on a sunny day although if you want to photograph them, choosing a warm cloudy day is the solution. The following Scotch Argus photos were taken at Bridge of Awe NN033302 on 26 July 2008 when warm but cloudy conditions meant the butterflies were sufficiently inactive to make photographing them possible. This Bridge of Awe meadow is a great butterfly site worth stopping at anytime from May to September as you are guaranteed to see a number of butterfly species on a sunny day.







So a trip to Argyll is strongly recommended between late July to mid August to see Scotch Argus in their prime and in multitudes. Good places to stop and look for Scotch Argus and other butterflies are shown on this spreadsheet which details the results of a voluntary survey I did in Argyll during the lovely warm dry summer of 2006.

Andrew Masterman

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