Monday 14th April 2014

2014 butterfly list hits 13

This is my first post detailing my 2014 butterfly list, and it is coming along apace! We have had some quite warm days already, which have brought out the butterflies in considerable numbers.

Until this weekend, I had not seen any particularly unusual species, but on Saturday I was treated to a fly-by Large Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis polychloros, which did not wait to be photographed. This was a species I inexplicably missed in 2013, so I was pleased to tick it off early this year.

Much more cooperative, however, were the extremely early Violet Coppers, Lycaena helle, which were already on the wing in their (and my) favourite valley in eastern Belgium, where they were posing on the beautiful wild daffodils, for which the region is justly renowned.

The first Violet Copper of the year.

A male Violet Copper on a wild daffodil.

The band of white chevrons is characteristic of the Violet Copper.

The list so far (in order of seeing) is as follows:

1. Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae.
2. Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni.
3. Comma, Polygonia c-album.
4. Peacock, Inachis io.
5. Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta.
6. Green-veined White, Pieris napi.
7. Orange-tip, Anthocharis cardamines.
8. Small White, Pieris rapae.
9. Holly Blue, Celastrina argiolus.
10. LARGE TORTOISESHELL, Nymphalis polychloros.
11. VIOLET COPPER, Lycaena helle.
12. Speckled Wood, Pararge aegeria.
13. Large White, Pieris brassicae.

A Comma just emerged from hibernation in northern France.

A female Orange-tip poses briefly.

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