Notes on other Adur Butterflies (Part Two)

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Notes on other Adur Butterflies (Part Two)

Postby Perseus » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:19 am


Some other notes on resident butterflies and moths in the Adur area (Part Two)

Small Blue
Cupido minimus ... all%20Blue

The sole foodplant is Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria).

Adur observations

The main colony is on the Slonk Hill bank where hundreds can be searched out and Kidney Vetch is plentiful. The butterfly was a successful introduction.

Small numbers also occur on the Lancing Ring wildlife meadows. They have also been recorded from the Adur Levels on a site now destroyed.

Kidney Vetch occurs very sparsely on the pastures of Anchor Bottom, but Small Blues are not recorded there. Kidney Vetch also occurs on Southwick Beach but the Small Blue Butterfly has never been seen there. Kidney Vetch thrives better in meadows than pastures to the benefit of this butterfly.

Brown Argus
Plebeius agestis ... wn%20Argus

The main foodplant is Common Rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium). Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium) and Dove's-foot Crane's-bill (Geranium molle) are also used.

Adur observations

The main variable colony is on the Mill Hill meadows, but some years there are hardly any. The only other location is a few on the Lancing Ring wildlife meadows, not sure how many. This butterfly is absent on all the pastures including Anchor Bottom.

As Rock Rose is not really a chalk plant and it is absent from virtually everywhere, the food plant is problematical. Dove's-foot Crane's-bill is one choice. This plant grows just as often on pastures as on chalk downs and may be swamped out in long sward meadows, as is most prevalent on miscellaneous wasteland. So, really this butterfly might thought to be found on pastures, but it has not been recorded. I have no idea of its food plant on Lancing Ring meadows, but it could be Meadow Cranesbill on Mill Hill?

Other butterfly that in practice is found on meadows and not pastures in the Adur area, but I am not sure why this should be. Rock Rose is only found on rights of way edges that have not been grazed and where there is clay.

Pyronia tithonus ... Gatekeeper

The main foodplants are Bents (various) (Agrostis spp.), Fescues (various) (Festuca spp.) and Meadow-grasses (various) (Poa spp.). Common Couch (Elytrigia repens) is also used.

This is a hedge butterfly. It is common on Mill Hill where there is scrub and found just about everywhere. However, as pastures are usually cleared of the main scrub, it will not be found there in anything like the numbers as elsewhere. Even where there is scrub with the cattle on Southwick Hill, it is not as common as Lancing wildlife meadows.

Adur Butterfly Flight Times

First Adur Butterfly Dates 2003 to 2007

Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List


Andy Horton
Adur Valley Nature Notes

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