Pete Eeles

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Wurzel
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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Wurzel » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:29 pm

Great shot of the Pudding egg Pete :D Broughton is a great little site - how are the Silver-spots looking over there? I visited a fortnight ago and they were only just emerging...

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Tony Moore
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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Tony Moore » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:53 am

Did you watch a female SSS ovipositing or search in a suitable 'rabbit-hole' site? It took me 15 mins to find a suitable site at Aston Rownant (from Jeremy Thomas's description), and there were three eggs within a sq. ft. :mrgreen:

Tony M.

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby kevling » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:29 pm

Pete,

Thoroughly enjoying your early stage photographs of so many species. This is an area I am slowly gathering knowledge of and your reports are most educating. I particularly like the Essex Skipper eggs in the Cock's Foot Grass. They look like peas in pod.
I could do with you presence on my surveys, you have a great knack of finding things.

Regards Kev

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:44 pm

Wurzel wrote:Great shot of the Pudding egg Pete :D Broughton is a great little site - how are the Silver-spots looking over there? I visited a fortnight ago and they were only just emerging...

Have a goodun

Wurzel


Thanks Wurzel! The SSS are doing really well; I must have seen 30 or so - nice to see them in such good numbers!

Tony Moore wrote:Did you watch a female SSS ovipositing or search in a suitable 'rabbit-hole' site? It took me 15 mins to find a suitable site at Aston Rownant (from Jeremy Thomas's description), and there were three eggs within a sq. ft. :mrgreen:

Tony M.


Hi Tony - although I did see a female ovipositing in quite an unusual place (nowhere near any bare earth!), I did find a few more by simply looking in the right places!

And thanks, Kevin!

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:07 pm

Update

Another somewhat-random update of various bits and bobs. This year has just been so busy on the butterfly front, especially if you're interested in immature stages! Photos below.

malvae.jpg
Grizzled Skipper pupa formed within a chamber of silked-together Agrimony leaves

c-album.jpg
Comma pupa


I've come across quite a few Red Admiral larvae in the last couple of weeks (over 100 while on holiday in Devon last week!), and have a few in my garden. As an experiment, I took what I knew to be a full-grown larva and placed it on a fresh nettle patch. The first thing it did was head up the plant where it (to my astonishment!), severed the main sprig by eating through it (in essence, felling it) before silking together adjacent leaves. I can report that it has now pupated in the resulting "tent". This is the classic construction as described in Thomas and Lewington.

atalanta1.jpg
Red Admiral pupal tent


I was also amazed at the amount of orange spotting on this particular Red Admiral larva - I don't recall having seen anything similar, ever, and would be interested to know if others have.

atalanta2.jpg
Red Admiral larva - black form


And, finally - I have a few Scotch Argus in captivity, and below is a series of shots that I hope are of interest. I really enjoyed watching this particular larva emerge - it felt like a privilege, if that makes any sense!

aethiops1.jpg
Scotch Argus "fully coloured-up" egg

aethiops2.jpg
Scotch Argus larva creating its "escape hatch"

aethiops3.jpg
Scotch Argus larva pushing its way out of the egg

aethiops4.jpg
Scotch Argus larva emerging from egg

aethiops5.jpg
Scotch Argus larva eating its egg shell

aethiops6.jpg
Scotch Argus larva


Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Neil Hulme » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:18 pm

Fantastic images, Pete.
I've never seen a similar (or such a beautiful) Red Admiral larva before.
The Scotch Argus egg is exquisite; Faberge eggs can't compete with the real deal.
BWs, Neil

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby bugboy » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:38 pm

As always, marvellous stuff Pete. Your posts may be intermittent but they are always worth a browse, always fascinating :D
Some addictions are good for the soul!

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby David M » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:33 pm

Incredible details in those images, Pete. You must surely now have enough for a book on early stages?

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby millerd » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:37 pm

That egg is beautiful and the sequence of shots is breathtaking. :)

Dave

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Wurzel » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:08 pm

Amazing images Pete, it puts them into a whole new light :D 8)

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Vince Massimo » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:41 pm

Amazing Scotch Argus larval sequence, Pete :D

I have just got back from a week on the Sussex coast and was also surprised as to the number of Red Admiral larval tents to be found on fresh nettle growth. I think this species will have a good end to the season.

I have reared or monitored many Red Admiral larvae this year and witnessed a great variation in the colouration of the final instar. Of these, two were of the dark form with the prominent red spots. Interestingly, both were without spotting when they first moulted into their respective 5th instars. I am sending some images through to you to show this.

Like you, I have lots of images to process and load at the end of the season.

Vince

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Maximus » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:05 pm

Eye opening images, Pete, amazing detail.

Mike

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pauline » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:47 am

I've just seen your images on the egg hatching Pete. The detail is stunning. I really don't think you can improve on that!

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Goldie M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:24 am

Fantastic shots of the Scotch Argus Egg hatching Pete, I know now why they call it Scotch Argus, the first thing I saw when seeing the egg was a resemblance to a Klit :wink: Seriously, first time I've seen anything in such a good sequence. Goldie :D

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:40 pm

Thanks for the kind comments Neil, Paul, David, Dave, Wurzel, Vince, Mike, Pauline and Goldie!

David M wrote:Incredible details in those images, Pete. You must surely now have enough for a book on early stages?


Not quite; there are still several gaps that will take a year or two to fill and I think that such an undertaking should be done properly given the inevitable time investment - but I'll make it worth the wait :) I’m meeting with a potential publisher tomorrow, and visiting the OUMNH to do more research before committing! But I strongly suspect that a book is a “go” on all fronts :)

Vince Massimo wrote:I have reared or monitored many Red Admiral larvae this year and witnessed a great variation in the colouration of the final instar. Of these, two were of the dark form with the prominent red spots. Interestingly, both were without spotting when they first moulted into their respective 5th instars. I am sending some images through to you to show this.


Thanks Vince!

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby David M » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:54 pm

Pete Eeles wrote:...there are still several gaps that will take a year or two to fill and I think that such an undertaking should be done properly given the inevitable time investment - but I'll make it worth the wait :) I’m meeting with a potential publisher tomorrow, and visiting the OUMNH to do more research before committing! But I strongly suspect that a book is a “go” on all fronts


Pleased to hear it, Pete. There's definitely a 'gap' in the market for such a publication and I very much doubt there are better images of these early stages you've been following for the last year or three!

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:32 pm

Thanks David!

A few updates based on recent events ...

Lots of Red Admiral larvae and pupae about at the moment!

1.jpg
Red Admiral pupa, showing the gold flecks that give early lepidopterists, "Aurelians", their name


A few Comma that I've reared through have been parasitised by Sturmia bella :(

2.jpg
Sturmia bella pupa

4.jpg
Sturmia bella


A day trip to the Isle of Wight allowed me to spend a good amount of time surveying various "chines" on the south west coast. This trip was primarily to locate Glanville Fritillary larval nests, although I also came across an ovipositing Small Copper that laid on a very grubby Sorrel leaf! Finding the larval nests was quite an effort, but I hope to see the larvae in the spring ... this should make for quite a spectacle when they do re-emerge!

5.jpg
Isle of Wight

3.jpg
Small Copper ovum (bottom left)

6.jpg
Glanville Fritillary 5th instar larval nest


Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Wurzel » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:58 pm

Cracking stuff Pete :D Can I pre-pre-order a copy of your tome? :D
Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby trevor » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:41 am

Lovely view of Compton bay, right at the junction of the sticky, gooey and very unstable clay
and the chalk downland. When we went to the IOW for the Glanville, we found more
than we could handle at Wheelers bay, but none at all at Compton.
But then Bonchurch is quite sheltered, and Compton is on an exposed cliff top.

Great stuff, as always.
Trevor.

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Re: Pete Eeles

Postby Pete Eeles » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:58 pm

Wurzel wrote:Cracking stuff Pete :D Can I pre-pre-order a copy of your tome? :Dl


Thanks Wurzel! Yes, in time. I want to "do this properly" and there are several gaps to close that will take a season (or two) to sort out. But the outline and first species description is complete - 58 or so to go :)

trevor wrote: When we went to the IOW for the Glanville, we found more than we could handle at Wheelers bay, but none at all at Compton. But then Bonchurch is quite sheltered, and Compton is on an exposed cliff top.


Thanks Trevor. Some chines are definitely more productive than others, for sure, but it depends if you're looking for adults or immature stages, and the two do not correlate! I suspect that the different sites become less or more suitable with each passing year, depending on the amount of land slip and resulting growth of their larval foodplant as a result.

Cheers,

- Pete


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