Cryptic Wood White, Craigavon

Alastair Rae
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: Islingon, London

Cryptic Wood White, Craigavon

Postby Alastair Rae » Wed May 28, 2014 12:24 pm

Finally managed to get a lens on one the Cryptic Wood Whites in the colony in Craigavon, N Ireland. They're just down the road from my Mum but getting visits home to coincide with butterflies and weather has proved difficult for the last few years. This one was taken in a break in the drizzle when about 20 appeared from nowhere.

My old RSNC butterfly book (Thomas, 1986) which had only one species of WW in Britain & Ireland notes that Irish specimens are noticeably greener and English ones. So I guess you don't have to examine the genitalia after all.

ImageCryptic Wood White by Alastair Rae, on Flickr

User avatar
Pete Eeles
Administrator & Stock Contributor
Administrator & Stock Contributor
Posts: 6168
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:10 pm
Location: Thatcham, Berkshire
Contact:

Re: Cryptic Wood White

Postby Pete Eeles » Wed May 28, 2014 6:49 pm

Alastair Rae wrote:My old RSNC butterfly book (Thomas, 1986) which had only one species of WW in Britain & Ireland notes that Irish specimens are noticeably greener and English ones. So I guess you don't have to examine the genitalia after all.


Nice shot! There are 2 species of WW in Ireland - sinapis (Wood White, confined to the Burren and south east Galway) and juvernica (Cryptic Wood White). So it's not clear what Jeremy refers to and, to be honest, there has been a LOT of study of various Leptidea since 1986. I know that the experts in this space Dinca, Wiklund, obtained some specimens from Craigavon and their conclusion is that the only way to separate Cryptics from regular WW from Real's WW is a combination of examining the genitalia and, believe it or not, DNA. Can't wait to purchase a portable DNA analyser from "Bugs 'R Us" in 2030 :)

Cheers,

- Pete

Alastair Rae
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: Islingon, London

Re: Cryptic Wood White

Postby Alastair Rae » Thu May 29, 2014 3:49 pm

Thanks for the into. I mistakenly thought L. juvernica replaced L. sinapis throughout Ireland. I just searched out the distribution maps (below) so I guess I'm safe enough in the North.

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/distribution.php?species=sinapis
http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/distribution.php?species=juvernica

Alastair Rae
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: Islingon, London

Re: Cryptic Wood White

Postby Alastair Rae » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:06 pm

And one week later I've snapped my first "English" Wood White, at Salcey Forest, Northants. On a sample size of one, the common species is less green than the Cryptic!
ImageWood White by Alastair Rae, on Flickr

User avatar
Pete Eeles
Administrator & Stock Contributor
Administrator & Stock Contributor
Posts: 6168
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:10 pm
Location: Thatcham, Berkshire
Contact:

Re: Cryptic Wood White

Postby Pete Eeles » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:10 pm

Alastair Rae wrote:On a sample size of one ...


:lol: You wouldn't be the first to draw conclusions based on a small sample size. In fact, the definition of the Irish Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines ssp. britannica) states (translated) "In the British Isles, cardamines tends to take a rather particular form (fig.8), distinguished by ... the extent of the black apical spot, which reaches to the anal angle and is ill-defined".

I've seen the illustration of the specimen from which this description originates and I can tell you that it's a one-off, and not one I've ever seen myself!

Cheers,

- Pete


Return to “Cryptic Wood White”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest