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Tim Stratford / 630 items

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Acres Down, Hampshire, U.K.

Family : Lycaenidae
Sub-Family : Polyommatinae
Species : Plebejus argus

A variable species that is widespread and often common throughout much of Europe spreading eastwards through Turkey, Iran, the Caucasus, Russia, parts of Central Asia, to China and Korea. It is a small butterfly with a wingspan of 28-32mm and gets its common name from the reflective scales found on the underside of most adults and which are quite noticeable when light reflects off them. Habitat is sheltered areas of calcareous grassland and heathland with plenty of exposure to the sun. Adults frequently roost communally in grasses with heads facing downwards. They feed mainly on species of Heather (Ericaceae).
Females lay their eggs singly close to the ground on or near the foodplant where they overwinter. Larvae hatch in the Spring and feed on the flowers or growing tips of the foodplants. In the warmer parts of Europe the species is double brooded, emerging in May and August. The main foodplants include Erica cinerea (Bell Heather), Calluna vulgaris (Heather), Erica tetralix (Cross-leaved Heath), and Hippocrepis comosa (Horseshoe Vetch). When the larvae pupate they do so underground, often in an ants' nest.

All my insect pics are single shot and handheld, usually in the wild.

Tags:   butterfly butterflies mariposa papillon farfalla Schmetterling бабочка animal outdoor insects insect Lepidoptera macro nature Lycaenidae Plebejus argus Silver-studded Blue Argus-Bläuling Heideblauwtje Kangassinisiipi Ljungblåvinge Niña hocecillas Azuré de l´Ajonc Polyommatinae wildlife Hampshire Acres Down live insects UK

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Martin Down NR, Hampshire, U.K.

Family : Hesperiidae
Sub-Family : Hesperiinae
Species : Thymelicus sylvestris

This is another very widespread species which can be found throughout most of Europe, through the Near East, Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia. It has a wingspan of 27-34mm and despite its name is the same size as most other skipper species in Europe. Habitat is rough grassland and it inhabits a wide range of places including woodland clearings, downland, and roadside verges. The males are very territorial and defend their territory fiercely from any passing butterfly no matter how big they are. Both sexes nectar on flowers such as Thistles (Cirsium spp. and Carduus spp.) and Red Clover (Trifolium pratense).
There is just one brood per year and the female has a unique way of laying her eggs. She lands on the stem of a foodplant and then goes backwards down the stem, probing the sheath with the end of her abdomen as she goes. When she finds a suitable opening in the furled sheath she lays up to 8 eggs inside. The eggs take around 3 weeks to hatch when the larva eats its eggshell and almost immediately hibernates within a cocoon spun by itself. The following Spring the larva starts feeding and goes through four moults before emergence as an adult butterfly. The primary larval foodplant is Holcus lanatus (Yorkshire-fog) but Dactylis glomerata, Brachypodium sylvaticum, and Alopecurus pratensis are also used.

All my insect pics are single shot and handheld, usually in the wild.

Tags:   butterfly butterflies mariposa papillon farfalla Schmetterling бабочка animal outdoor insects insect Lepidoptera macro nature Hesperiidae Thymelicus sylvestris Small Skipper Geelsprietdikkopje Större tåtelsmygare Dorada linea larga Hespérie de la Houque Hesperiinae wildlife Hampshire Martin Down NR live insects UK

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Mont Lozère, Parc National des Cévennes, Lozère, France

Family : Nymphalidae
Subfamily : Heliconiinae
Species : Issoria lathonia

Widely distributed throughout most of mainland Europe (except for Scandinavia), parts of North Africa, and continuing eastwards through Turkey, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. It is a small-medium butterfly with a wingspan of 35-55mm, the females being slightly larger than the males. Both sexes are similar in appearance and have a distinctive wing shape compared to other fritillary species. It is a strong flier but usually stays close to the ground. Found in a number of different habitats from woodland to alpine meadows and heathland.
The larval foodplants are specific Viola species, namely Viola arvensis, Viola odorata, Viola hirta and Viola tricolor. In lowland locations there are often two broods (rarely three) per year but only one at alpine sites. Females lay their eggs singly on or near the host plant in warm, dry, and sheltered situations.

All my insect pics are single, handheld shots of live insects in wild situations.

Tags:   butterfly butterflies mariposa papillon farfalla Schmetterling бабочка animal outdoor insects insect Lepidoptera macro nature Nymphalidae Issoria lathonia Queen of Spain Fritillary Latonia Kleiner Perlmutterfalter Sofía Storfläckig pärlemorfjäril Heliconiinae wildlife Lozère Parc National des Cévennes Mont Lozère live insects France

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Doi Suthep-Pui NP, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Family : Nymphalidae
Sub-Family : Limenitidinae
Species : Moduza procris procris

Distributed from Sri Lanka through India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It is a medium size butterfly with a wingspan of 50-60mm, both sexes being similar in size and appearance. They are very powerful fliers although they only usually fly for short distances at a time. Both sexes feed on the nectar of various flower species and the males are fond of puddling on damp ground. Habitat is low altitude (up to around 1000m) deciduous forest, usually in the vicinity of streams.
Larval food plants include Anthocephalus chinensis, Morinda angustifolia, Nauclea orientalis, and various other Rubiaceae species. Females lay their eggs singly at the tip of a leaf on the host plant. The eggs are about 1mm in diameter with short spines, giving them the appearance of tiny sea urchins. The complete lifecycle then takes around 30 days to the emergence of the new adult butterfly. The well-camouflaged caterpillars are very strange-looking creatures and have a unique way of protecting themselves. They form their frass chain (excrement) into two rolls that look like themselves, thereby creating foul-tasting decoys for any potential predators. The pupal case is also well disguised and looks like a small twisted dead leaf.

All my insect pics are single, handheld shots of live insects in wild situations.

Tags:   butterfly mariposa papillon farfalla Schmetterling бабочка Con bướm ผีเสื้อ animal outdoor insects insect Lepidoptera macro nature Nymphalidae Moduza procris Commander Limenitidinae wildlife Doi Suthep-Pui NP Chiang Mai live insects Thailand Thailand butterflies ผีเสื้อแถบขาวเรียงธรรมดา

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Doi Suthep-Pui NP, Chaing Mai, Thailand

Family : Nymphalidae
Sub-Family : Danainae
Species : Euploea mulciber mulciber

Distributed from India, through Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It is a large butterfly with a wingspan of 80-90mm and they are unpalatable to predators. Although very common they are a difficult species to photograph as they are very nervous of humans. I see them all the time in Thailand but I have yet to get a shot of the beautiful iridescent blue on the upper surface of the wings. Habitat is rainforest and humid deciduous forest at elevations between sea level and about 1000m. Males and females puddle on damp ground but the latter is more often seen nectaring on various flowering bushes.
This species is polyphagous and has many larval host plants including Ficus altissima, Ficus racemosa (Moraceae ), Nerium indicum, Nerium oleander (Apocynaceae) , and Toxocarpus villosus (Asclepiadaceae). Females lay their eggs singly on the underside of a leaf on the host plant. The eggs take 3 days to hatch and the resulting larva goes rapidly through 5 instars in 11-12 days before pupating. After 6-7 days of development the new adult emerges and the next lifecycle begins.

All my insect pics are single, handheld shots of live insects in wild situations.

Tags:   butterfly mariposa papillon farfalla Schmetterling бабочка Con bướm ผีเสื้อ animal outdoor insects insect Lepidoptera macro nature Nymphalidae Euploea mulciber Striped Blue Crow Danainae wildlife Doi Suthep-Pui NP Chiang Mai live insects Thailand Thailand butterflies ผีเสื้อจรกาเมียลาย


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