Observations of the other Butterflies of the Adur district

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Perseus
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:09 pm

Observations of the other Butterflies of the Adur district

Postby Perseus » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:30 pm

Hello,

Observations of the other Butterflies of the Adur district area and a few absentees

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The nettle feeding and part or wholly immigrant species: Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Comma, Painted Lady.

These are present on the levels and nettles will only occur on the downs in area which have been disturbed and fertilised by cattle. Nettles will more than likely die out if the fertilisation ceases and this has been observed.

The single best area is a piece of ungrazed land by a riverbank on the levels. Caterpillars of Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell have been observed.

On paths that go through arable fields on the downs near Annington to the north, there are plenty of Nettles and Small Tortoiseshells are numerous in good years.

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Orange-tip
Anthocharis cardamines
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... Orange-tip

The main food plants are Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis) and Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Charlock (Sinapis arvensis), Hairy Rock-cress (Arabis hirsuta), Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), Large Bitter-cress (Cardamine Amara), Turnip (Brassica rapa) and Winter-cress (Barbarea vulgaris) are also used.


The Orange Tip is only occasionally seen in the Adur area, perhaps frequent sometimes during its early flight season. Garlic Mustard is the usual food plant. This butterfly is found on paths on the levels where Garlic Mustard grows. Garlic Mustard is eaten by cattle. In the days of dairy cattle, this plant was deliberately eradicated by farmers. Now with beef cattle, it has been observed on one occasion on the edge of a lightly used cow pasture.

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Brimstone Butterfly
Gonepteryx rhamni
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... =Brimstone

The main food plants are Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) and Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica).

Where scrub is found on the wild downs, this butterfly will occur frequently, notably on Lancing Ring. It will occur occasionally on Mill Hill and the levels. It is scarce over pastures.
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Speckled Wood
Pararge aegeria
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... led%20Wood

The main food plants are Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), Common Couch (Elytrigia repens), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) and Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus).

As its name indicates this is woodland butterfly, but it grasses could be found on pastures. There is not sign of it on pastures, but it will be found on the wild downs on Lancing Ring and Mill Hill.
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Ringlet
Aphantopus hyperantus
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... me=Ringlet

The main food plants are Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), Common Couch (Elytrigia repens), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), Meadow-grasses (various) (Poa spp.) and Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa).

This butterfly is found occasionally on the damper sheltered parts of the Slonk Hill Cutting, between the downs and Shoreham town. It is not seen on pastures or the Lancing Ring meadows.
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Clouded Yellow
Colias croceus
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... d%20Yellow

The main food plants are Clovers (various) (Trifolium spp.) and Lucerne (Medicago sativa). Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) is also used.

This is almost exclusively an immigrant, although there is some evidence that it has bred successfully in 2006 on the Adur levels using Bird's Foot Trefoil.

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Green Hairstreak
Callophrys Rubi
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... Foodplants

The main food plants are Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), Broom (Cytisus scoparius), Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Common Rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium), Dyer's Greenweed (Genista tinctoria) and Gorse (Ulex europaeus). Bramble (Rubus fruticosus), Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), Cross-leaved Heath (Erica tetralix) and Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) are also used.

This butterfly is so scarce locally that I have not been able to see more than one probably on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. I have received reports from areas of neglected cattle pasture from Hampshire where this butterfly occurs. Neglected cattle pasture quickly becomes inundated with Dogwood and Bramble scrub and this sort of site may be good for this butterfly. There is enough Dogwood on Mill Hill to be a nuisance but this butterfly would be an exceptional d find, although its flight time and camouflage may mean it is missed.

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Dark Green Fritillary
Argynnis aglaja
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... Fritillary

The main foodplants are Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana), Hairy Violet (Viola hirta) and Marsh Violet (Viola palustris).

This butterfly has been absent from Mill Hill and the rest of the Adur district area for about 20 years. This is despite the lower slopes of Mill Hill having an extensive and thriving population of Dog Violets and Hairy Violets. The leaves showed well this year, but they are often dimunitive on the barren dry and shallow soil. Violets will grow from the moss layer without any soil.
It is a mystery why this butterfly is absent. On a few occasion possible DG Frits were seen, but after unsuccessful pursuits of fast flying butterflies on Mill Hill, I concluded that they were probably Painted Ladies.

On the large cattle conservation pasture of Cissbury Ring, this butterfly is still occasional to frequent. It is absent and there are not the violets on the conservation pasture at Anchor Bottom, Upper Beeding. I think it thrives on Cissbury Ring despite cattle grazing rather than because of it, but I have have done any research on this.
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Green-veined White
Pieris napi
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... ed%20White

The main foodplants are Charlock (Sinapis arvensis), Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis), Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), Large Bitter-cress (Cardamine amara), Water-cress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum), Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) and Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum). Crucifers (various) (Cruciferae family (various)) and Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) are also used.

This plant is associated with Garlic Mustard on the Adur Levels or just found flying around not near a food plant. It is occasional on the downs on Mill Hill and on Lancing Ring meadows as well.
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Grayling
Hipparchia semele
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... e=Grayling

The main foodplants are Bristle Bent (Agrostis curtisii), Early Hair-grass (Aira praecox), Red Fescue (Festuca rubra) and Sheep's-fescue (Festuca ovina). Marram (Ammophila arenaria) and Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) are also used.


This butterfly appears to be absent from the Adur area and maybe all of the Sussex downs. There are historical records from Mill Hill but only one (from memory) and there must be some uncertainty about the accuracy.

PS: On a few occasions, I thought I saw a Meadow Brown that was more flightly and behaving differently on Mill Hill. I considered the possibility of Graylings, but the butterflies were too flighty to record stationary.

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Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2007.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2006.html
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2007.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: December 2007
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Dec2007.html

Adur Valley & Downs Gallery
http://www.flickr.com/groups/adur/pool/

View and upload your Sussex Wildlife Images to:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/sussexwildlife/
Last edited by Perseus on Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Perseus
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:09 pm

Postby Perseus » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:13 pm

A brief look at

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/sites_ng ... pecies=All

and there does seem to be a correlation on some sites of Green Hairstreak where the cattle grazing occurs amongst scrub. e.g. Malling Down.

User avatar
Perseus
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:09 pm

Re: Observations of the other Butterflies of the Adur distri

Postby Perseus » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:03 am

Hello,

The Brown Hairstreak has been seen and photographed by me on the Buckingham Cutting south, amongst the Bramblkes, north Shoreham. I have bene told that this butterfly is so secretive that it may be present and not seen by spotters. There was no Blackthorn actually known in the area where this butterfly was discovered.

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2010.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2010.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: August 2010
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/August2010.html
Sussex Downs Facebook Group
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=111843132181316

User avatar
Perseus
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:09 pm

Re: Observations of the other Butterflies of the Adur distri

Postby Perseus » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:43 pm

Hello,

Since this message an unidentified Fritillary has been identified from Lancing Ring Nature Reserve in 2010 and a suspected Fritllary from Mill Hill, and a suspected Brown Hairstreak from Mill Hill, and a confirmed Brown Hairstreak from the Buckingham Cutting. Also a report of a a White-letter Hairstreak from Shoreham.

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Butterfly-list2011.html

Cheers

Andy Horton
glaucus@hotmail.com
Adur Valley Nature Notes
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Adur2011.html
Adur Valley Nature Notes: April 2011
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/April2011.html
Sussex Downs Facebook Group
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=111843132181316


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