Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

peterc
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Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby peterc » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:51 am

Has anyone witnessed Brown Hairstreak eggs or larvae on wild plum, Bullace Prunus domestica in the UK?

Someone reported seeing a female BH in a neighbour's garden near Mardley Heath, about 4 miles south of Stevenage, earlier this year. Follow-up visits from various people yielded more possibilities of BHs flying in the area. However, there is very little blackthorn in the immediate vicinity but loads of it 3 miles away, in Knebworth Park for instance. The splendid film by VarWIld taken in south France features some females laying eggs on wild plum - video clip on YouTube. I am wondering if wild plums in the Mardley Heath area are used for egg-laying and therefore worth investigating? Any thoughts?

ATB

Peter
Last edited by peterc on Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bugboy
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby bugboy » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:47 pm

Pretty sure Bullace is used at Steyning
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peterc
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby peterc » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:38 am

bugboy wrote:Pretty sure Bullace is used at Steyning


Thanks, Paul. Several text books mention Bullace as an alternative food-plant without being too specific, e.g. height on which most eggs are likely to be laid. Interestingly, according to Emmet & Heath's 'The Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland' book, 'In captivity, wild plum Prunus domestica is readily accepted and tends to give rise to larger specimens'.

ATB

Peter

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petesmith
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby petesmith » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:09 am

Yes, there is a single specimen of wild plum at Chambers Farm Wood in Lincolnshire, where Brown Hairstreak is plentiful. The wild plum is used almost every year by egg-laying females. I also found a single Black Hairstreak egg on it a few years back.
pete smith

peterc
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby peterc » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:27 am

petesmith wrote:Yes, there is a single specimen of wild plum at Chambers Farm Wood in Lincolnshire, where Brown Hairstreak is plentiful. The wild plum is used almost every year by egg-laying females. I also found a single Black Hairstreak egg on it a few years back.


Thanks for letting me know, Pete.

ATB

Peter

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Mark Tutton
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby Mark Tutton » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:20 pm

Bullace is used at Steyning too - I think Neil may have said that it is the preferred foodplant here. See http://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/species/brown-hairstreak.php
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Mark
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peterc
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby peterc » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:25 am

Mark Tutton wrote:Bullace is used at Steyning too - I think Neil may have said that it is the preferred foodplant here. See http://www.sussex-butterflies.org.uk/species/brown-hairstreak.php
Kind Regards
Mark


Thanks for the info and link, Mark. A good read :)

ATB

Peter

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby Neil Hulme » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:19 pm

Hi all
Just caught up with this thread.
As others have said, Brown Hairstreak will readily use Bullace and there is indeed a preference over Blackthorn at Steyning. Other species/subspecies and varieties of Prunus are also used, including Victoria Plum.
BWs, Neil

peterc
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby peterc » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:34 am

Neil Hulme wrote:Hi all
Just caught up with this thread.
As others have said, Brown Hairstreak will readily use Bullace and there is indeed a preference over Blackthorn at Steyning. Other species/subspecies and varieties of Prunus are also used, including Victoria Plum.
BWs, Neil


Thanks, Neil.

Are Bullace and the other plum subspecies the preferred choices generally in the UK? Fascinating stuff.

ATB

Peter

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Brown Hairstreak on wild plum?

Postby Neil Hulme » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:45 pm

Hi Peter,

The short answer is no. I can only say that Bullace is preferred to Blackthorn at Steyning (where I have sufficient data); the availability of Bullace will vary hugely from site to site, with many locations containing Blackthorn alone. The other types of Prunus I mentioned, including 'ornamentals', will be used on the relatively rare occasions when a wandering female will come across them (e.g. a Victoria Plum growing in a semi-rural garden), but there's no evidence I know of to suggest that Brown Hairstreak prefers these plants.

BWs, Neil


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