Return to moorhen home page

Return to section index

Image-of-the-Day by Subject

Butterflies Page 19

Image Taken on 15 May 2021 at 16:16    Image of day on 12 Jun 2021

The Orange-tip Butterflies have been on-the-wing for an atypically long time this year. This one is perched on yet-to-flower Cow Parsley bud.

Ref: 20210612_d73_20210515_1616_049 orange-tip butterfly male perched on cow parsley bud (crop 1)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 15 May 2021 at 16:16    Image of day on 12 Jun 2021

A closer look shows the coiled up proboscis just below and right of the compound eye.

Ref: 20210612_d73_20210515_1616_049 orange-tip butterfly male perched on cow parsley bud (crop 2 - coiled proboscis detail)(r+mb id@432).jpg

Image Taken on 15 May 2015 at 12:48    Image of day on 08 Jul 2015

A favourite butterfly is the Orange-Tip, and here is one using its underwing camouflage to great effect. We had trouble find it even though we saw it land only a few metres away. This is the male with the upper wing tip bright orange, but folded out of sight. You can just make out an orange tinge near the back top of the upper wing, but the disguise is near complete.

Ref: 20150708_p10_20150515_1248_498 orange-tip butterfly male perched with wings closed showing underwing pattern (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 03 May 2018 at 15:57    Image of day on 07 Jun 2018

This orange tip is newly emerged and flutters seemingly non-stop in search of a mate. Only the male has the gorgeous orange tips, but both sexes have the beautiful green and white patterning over the underneath of the rear wings, and along the edge of the forewing which perfectly lines up when the insect closes it's wings. Amazing!

Ref: 20180607_df3_20180503_1557_070 orange-tip butterfly male showing patterned underwing (crop 2)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Apr 2012 at 16:28    Image of day on 26 May 2012

An Orange-tip butterfly feeding on a Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower) flower.
Where's the 'orange' bit then? Like many sexually dimorphic species, the orange tips to the wings are on the males only - this is a female.

Ref: 20120526_df1_20120430_1628_210+215 orange-tip butterfly on ladys smock (cuckoo flower) flower (montage for differential focus)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 19 May 2014 at 17:27    Image of day on 23 Jul 2014

A pair of Orange-tip butterflies courting in the evening sunshine.
A mostly accurate montage to convey the action as they spiraled upwards.

Ref: 20140723_df2_20140519_1727_175+187-189 orange-tip butterfly pair courting in rising flight selected 1-4 of 4 (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 28 Apr 2017 at 12:32    Image of day on 21 Jun 2017

The Orange-tip butterfly season seems have lasted unusually well this year. This is the head-on view of a male perched on a fallen Dandelion 'clock'. You can see the orange glow between the wing tips.

Ref: 20170621_df3_20170428_1232_037 orange-tip butterfly viewed head-on on dandelion clock (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 28 Apr 2017 at 12:34    Image of day on 21 Jun 2017

Here a male orange-tip with wings spread in the sunshine. You can just see the wonderful green tracery showing through from the other side of his rear wings.

Ref: 20170621_df3_20170428_1234_049 orange-tip butterfly with wings spread(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 11 Aug 2021 at 10:51    Image of day on 21 Sep 2021

Some of the Oxford Ragwort has timed it's growth to make a decent flowerhead before the Cinnabar Caterpillars ravage the plant! The Gatekeeper butterfly you see, not badly disguised here, is the dominant brown butterfly at the moment.

Ref: 20210921_d73_20210811_1051_022 oxford ragwort flowers with gatekeeper butterfly(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 24 Jul 2006 at 12:39    Image of day on 05 Aug 2006

Teasels are now spikily rampant and many are flowering in their unusual rings of florets. The Painted Lady is a summer visitor that have only been common here in the last few years. Here two are refuelling on the nectar.

Ref: 20060805_d10_20060724_1239_027 2 painted lady butterflies on teasel(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 27 Jun 2019 at 17:35    Image of day on 16 Aug 2019

Here is a Painted Lady Butterfly also choosing one of thousands of Privet heads for a feed. This one has a slightly damaged edge to the wing - quite normal damage from brushing on foliage. We have always felt that the name 'Painted Lady' is a bit strong for this subtly coloured creature.

Ref: 20190816_df5_20190627_1735_122 painted lady butterfly feeding on privet flowers(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 28 Jun 2019 at 17:39    Image of day on 16 Aug 2019

Another slightly less wing edged damaged Painted Lady Butterfly gives us a lovely view of her underwings as she feeds through her proboscis forming a gentle bend lower right.

Ref: 20190816_df5_20190628_1739_296 painted lady butterfly feeding on privet flowers(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 08 Aug 2009 at 10:46    Image of day on 23 Sep 2009

This painted lady dipped into successive florets (single flowers in a group) on a teasel, dipping into 1 a couple of times - it may be more random than it looks. Anyway, in a single sequence of 3 seconds here are the dips into 3 little fuel stores.

Ref: 20090923_cf1_20090808_1046_419+430+444 painted lady butterfly feeding on successive teasel florets @ 20fps 1+12+26 of 50 (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg

Image Taken on 27 Jul 2014 at 12:42    Image of day on 05 Oct 2014

A painted Lady Butterfly feeding on a Teasel flower head.
"We didn't see one of those last year" we said.
We looked in our database and we found that it has been not 1 but 4 years - last recorded in 2009.

Ref: 20141005_df2_20140727_1242_199 painted lady butterfly feeding on teasel flowers (1st of 2014 - not seen since 2009) (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Aug 2019 at 15:49    Image of day on 23 Sep 2019

Many years we don't see Painted Lady Butterflies at all, but this year has been 'bumper'. This one on Teasel (where we are mostly seeing them) looks so delicate when perched above the spikes.

Ref: 20190923_df3_20190802_1549_141 painted lady butterfly feeding on teasel flowers 3 of 3 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 02 Aug 2015 at 13:52    Image of day on 05 Oct 2015

Our first sighting of a Painted Lady Butterfly this year, and in fact our first record at all since a large influx in 2009.

Ref: 20151005_da1_20150802_1352_467+1240+273_ft1 painted lady butterfly in flight + thistle flower (montage))(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 14 Jul 2009 at 10:37    Image of day on 23 Aug 2009

After a years absence we are seeing the migrant painted lady butterfly this year. Most are rather tatty and faded but this individual was still in good condition. The Soldier Beetles on the thistle spent all 45 minutes of the photo-shoot mating in happy oblivion!

Ref: 20090823_da1_20090714_1037_075+1101_217 ft1 painted lady butterfly in flight with small thistle & soldier beetles (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 07 Aug 2015 at 09:53    Image of day on 10 Oct 2015

Proboscis maneuvering to a new flower on this nearly spent Teasel, a painted Lady Butterfly replenishes the overnight fast.

Ref: 20151010_df3_20150807_0953_026 painted lady butterfly moving proboscis between teasel flowers(r+mb id@768).jpg

Image Taken on 30 Jul 2009 at 10:02    Image of day on 05 Sep 2009

Painted lady butterfly out before the dew has dried sunning itself to warm up prior to a busy day feeding at assorted wild and cultivated flowers.

Ref: 20090905_db1_20090730_1002_020 painted lady butterfly on dew-wet grass(r+mb id@576).jpg

Image Taken on 17 Jun 2017 at 08:21    Image of day on 11 Aug 2017

On the same Privet hedge we spotted this single Painted Lady Butterfly.

Ref: 20170811_df3_20170617_0821_065 painted lady butterfly on privet flowers (at farm entrance)(r+mb id@768).jpg




Comments and requests for image use

To make a comment, ask for information or to request a full resolution image, send us an email including the reference or the date for the image you are interested in.

All initial contacts should be made using the icon below:-

Mail Us