This summer I got to really appreciate the close-up capabilities of the Sigma 50-500 lens that I'd been given by my wife as a Christmas present at the tail-end of 2014. I've taken as many opportunities as I could to try and capture the world of small creatures, finding this particularly fascinating as it allows me to see aspects of these amazing creatures that I'd not previously observed.
Here's a selection of the butterfly and beetle (plus a nod to the moths) images that I've not previously posted on this blog, It also excludes those from my garden, as they might appear in a future post.
Butterflies and Moths
I've had a love of butterflies and moths since the age of about 10. However, I've never made any sort of serious study of them. I did, many years ago, have a spell where my 'office' was full of 'cages' taking caterpillars through to adulthood.
This year, the butterflies have missed my attention to some degree because of my growing interest in dragonflies and damselflies.
|Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) (male) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 7th May|
The Speckled Wood has a very long season in this region.
|Speckled Wood (Parage aegeria) - Calke Tramway on 16th June|
The Red Admiral seems to make no attempt to disguise itself. It also is with us for quite a long period.
|Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 18th June|
|Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) - Rutland Water (Egleton) on 9th July|
|Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) - Drakelow NR on 22nd September|
Not quite so common in these parts, and not usually around for so long, is the Painted Lady - always a delight to see!
|Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 18th June|
Relatively uncommon in VC55 (Leicestershire and Rutland) is the Marbled White. This was my first ever sighting in VC55, so please excuse the 'record shots' - a flitting butterfly at around 35 metres distance is not an easy target!
|Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 2nd July|
A relatively common butterfly, but one that I tend to overlook, in spite of its handsome appearance, is the Ringlet.
|Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) - Rutland Water (Egleton) on 9th July|
The Comma, with its delightful and distinctive wing shape, is a relatively common butterfly. It has two broods a year (May/June and August/September), with the second brood hibernating, to reappear in the spring.
|Comma (Polygonia c-album) - Rutland Water (Egleton) on 9th July|
|Comma (Polygonia c-album) - Drakelow NR on 17th September|
On the same July day as the first Comma and the Ringlet shown above, I also photographed a Small Skipper.
|Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) (female) - Rutland Water (Egleton) on 9th July|
The next two species, photographed on 16th July, are a little less colourful. The Meadow Brown is extremely common, and the Gatekeeper seemed to have a very good year this year.
|Gatekeeper (Pyronia tythonus) (male) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 16th July|
|Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) (female) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 16th July|
We leave the butterflies with a couple of shots of the larvae (caterpillars) of the Peacock.
|Peacock (Inachis io) (larvae) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 16th July|
I now realise that I've almost totally ignored moths this year (sorry, Rhys!). My only offering is the larva of what I believe to be the Dark Arches moth.
|Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha)? (larva) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 13th May|
I know even less about beetles than I do about butterflies, but here's a few from the summer. Please let me know if you can help with the I/D, especially if I get it wrong!
I think this first one might be a ground beetle of of the Pterostichus group.
|Ground beetle (Pterostichus sp.?) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 4th June|
|Click Beetle (Agriotis sp.?) - Spring Wood Nature Reserve on 16th June|
|Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis) - Spring Wood Nature Reserve on 16th June|
These next ones are often seen in great numbers when at least 50% of them will be engaging in their favourite pastime. Whilst usually known as Soldier Beetles, they are more colloquially known as Bonking Beetles!
|Soldier Beetle (Cantharis sp.) - Rutland Water (Lyndon) on 16th July|
Thank you for dropping by. I guess that it's about time I posted with an owl or two, but that's not been too easy lately with limited time and pretty dreadful weather!