Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

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Vince Massimo
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Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Vince Massimo » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:02 pm

This is a thread in which to post your favourite photo(s) of a particular species taken in 2011........................or the last time you saw one!

This is part of a series which will hopefully grow throughout the winter until all 58 British species have been covered. Three new threads will be introduced per week. Our overseas friends are welcome to fill in the obvious gaps relating to our rare migrants, but please try to observe the alphabetical listing :) .

Details of places, dates, times and circumstances would be appreciated and please feel free to contribute observations of behaviour, personal encounters, anecdotes and other interesting points.

Vince

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby dilettante » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:38 pm

I'll start by setting the bar low :). This is my favourite, because the it's the only one I managed. Taken on a windy and overcast day at Denbies:

Image
Denbies Hillside, 27-Aug-11. Sony A700, Tamron 180/3.5

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Neil Hulme » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:15 pm

I like the lighting on this one. It was taken at 7.45pm when the sunlight was striking the butterfly almost horizontally as it searched out a suitable roosting place on a very steep, west facing slope.
Neil

UKB Silver-spotted Skipper, Chantry Hill 14.8.11.jpg

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Mark Colvin
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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Mark Colvin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:23 pm

2011 was the first year that I looked for and found this beautiful little insect.

The following shots were taken on 8th August in Oxfordshire and 22nd August in West Sussex.

SSS1.JPG

UKBP1040059a.jpg

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Reverdin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:57 pm

This one was high in the Alps in early July ( tho' you wouldn't tell from looking at it :D )...

IMG_0351.jpg

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby ChrisC » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:05 pm

they are quite noticably dfifferent Mark, and is it my imagination or is one's eye bigger than the other or just the angle, the wings don't look far off being the same size so i just wondered.

Chris

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David M
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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby David M » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:40 pm

Females seem to be photographed much less often than males so I was particularly gladdened to capture this specimen in July:

Image

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby millerd » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:54 pm

I like these from Aston Rowant on 14th August - a typically windy day up there on the very steep hillside. The first two are obviously linked - this was the egg which was being laid - surprisingly large for such a small butterfly. The third I just like for no good reason other than that it's a cute butterfly!

Dave
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SSS ovipositing resized.jpg
ovipositing female
SSS egg resized.jpg
the resultant egg
SSS3 resized.jpg
a slightly different view

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Neil Freeman » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:00 pm

I took a trip down the M40 to Aston Rowant towards the end of July especially to look for Silver Spotted Skippers. I remember arriving on a beautiful morning and was pleased to find good numbers around the slopes of the reserve. Getting a good photo was not easy and I remember adapting all kinds of uncomfortable postures on the slopes in my attempts.

The one below is probably my favourite as I like the butterfly against the texture of the seed head.

Aston Rowant 25.07.2011 127 resize.jpg
Silver Spotted Skipper - Aston Rowant.


Cheers,

Neil F.

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Mark Colvin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:43 pm

Hi Chris,

ChrisC wrote:is it my imagination or is one's eye bigger than the other

I hadn't noticed that before. I've checked other images of the Sussex specimen and they all suggest slightly smaller eyes? Regional variation, a trick of the light or angle of the shot ... I don't know the answer but well 'spotted'.

Kind regards. Mark

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby MikeOxon » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:12 pm

This one had found a good sheltered spot to soak up the heat from a scatter of small stones on Sliding Hill, near Swyncombe, Oxon.

SSSkipper1.jpg
Sliding Hill, Swyncombe, Oxon - 25th July 2011
Nikon D300s with 70-300VR lens - 1/750s@f/6.7 ISO400

Mike

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Wurzel » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:18 pm

I first found this species last year at Martin Down on my first attempt using the Adrian Riley book for directions. However this year after 3 or 4 unsuccessful attempts at Martin Down I decided to try somewhere new and so ended up at Stockbridge Down. These shots were taken there on two successive visits - one of which was when I supposed to be shopping in Ikea with my wife! I'm still not really sure how I got away with that one :o
Last year I managed to photograph a very dark female so it was nice this year to find males to photograph and also limey, bright individuals.
SSS 1.JPG

I also remember during discussions of Smessex skippers that there was a lot of talk about the different colouration of the antennae, I think the individual below was a male...
SSS 2.JPG

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Nick Broomer » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:23 pm

I had followed a fresh female at a distance hoping a male would seek her out, and mate. Following her proved to be difficult at the best of times, as i`m sure you all know. I lost her a couple of times, but managed to locate her again on each occasion. Eventually a Eagle eyed male spotted her, she had landed in some vegetation below a dead stem. The male flew in, landing beside her, facing the same way.

Now this male was a sneaky little fellow, every now and again he would curl/bend his abdomen towards the females abdomen,touching it, she would flinch and move slightly away, maybe one or two mm. He would repeat this procedure until she succumbed to his charms. Well, it definitely was`nt his good looks.

Eventually she dragged him up the dead stem for a spot of sun.
21.8.2011 065-1_1.jpg
Presumably bored with the whole thing.
Here is another picture i took on the same day.
21.8.2011 102-1_1.jpg
I was hoping to get a shot like Mark`s and Neil`s excllent pictures. Maybe next time.

Mark and Chris, the male`s eyes are bigger than the females as you can see clearly in the photo where they are mating.
Rather like the Wood White, the males eyes are bigger than the females.

Nick.
Last edited by Nick Broomer on Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Mark Colvin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:17 pm

Hi Nick,

Thanks for your kind comments and observations regarding eye size.

hideandseek wrote:the males eyes are bigger than the females

The specimen from Oxfordshire was indeed a male and the one from Sussex a female.

Good hunting.

Kind regards. Mark

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Vince Massimo
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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Vince Massimo » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:36 am

I wasn't planning to submit this photo because it was taken in 2008, but it serves to illustrate that the male has larger eyes than the female.
This is something I was not aware of...............

P8150571-01G Silver Spotted Skipper Pair - Colley Hill, Reigate, Surrey 15-Aug-08.jpg
Male is on the left

Well done Chris for noticing this and drawing it to everyones attention :D . I don't think that this is a widely-known fact.

Vince

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Neil Hulme » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:02 pm

Nick is correct; in many species the male's eyes are noticeably larger than the female's. This is particularly prevalent in species whose mate-finding strategy relies heavily upon rapidly spotting females in flight, rather than other techniques where e.g. scent is of at least equal importance when searching out newly emerged females sitting in vegetation. A good example of the former is the medium sized fritillaries, in which Mother Nature has equipped the males with huge golfball-like eyes to spot females flitting through coppiced woodland blocks. It's a case of "all the better to see you with". Male PBFs can spot an orange lucozade bottle top from at least 10 metres away. The examples below (SPBF and Small Heath) illustrate clear examples of the larger male eye.
Neil

UKB SPBF male&fem (eyes).jpg
UKB Small Heath mating (eyes).jpg

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Matsukaze » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:14 pm

Sussex Kipper wrote:...Male PBFs can spot an orange lucozade bottle top from at least 10 metres away...


I seem to remember you mentioning Lucozade in connection with Black Hairstreak-hunting recently and evidently the stuff has powers not intended by the manufacturer. Is it useful in search of any other species of scarce butterfly?

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Nick Broomer » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:18 pm

Hi Neil,

When i first started butterflying i found it hard to distinguish the male from the female in certain species when they were sitting with their wings closed, and could`nt see the abdomen.

So i started looking for other ways to identify the male and female. One of these was the eye, and found in some species of butterfly the male`s eye was larger, or a different colour to that of the female, and in the case of the Wood White the males eye was not only bigger, but also a different colour to the females.

I also looked at the antennea, and found you could distinguish between the sexes in a couple of species this way, ie, the Large Skipper.

This approach to distinguishing the male from the female has really helped me overcome this problem.

I still have not seen or photographed many species, and in some cases only one of the sexes, so i have not been able to complete this study and examine them fully. But i hope to as i photograph more species.

Nick

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby EricY » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:13 pm

My favorite SS Skipper from Aston Rowant in 2011 after a fraught experience getting to it! Taken with my old Sony H50. Eric
3e dl 31 07 11 Sony H50 031 Silver spotted Skipper female.jpg
Silver spotted Skipper

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Re: Silver-spotted Skipper - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Vince Massimo » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:48 am

I am just finishing reviewing my photos from last year and came across this one which I had initially discounted because it was not all in focus. However it remains a favourite because it reminds me of the day and the effort expended in getting anywhere near one of these flighty beasties.

IMG_2642-05SG.jpg
Silver-spotted Skipper Male - Colley Hill, Reigate, Surrey 28-July-11


Vince


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