Friday, September 25, 2015

Marsh Fritillaries

Marsh Fritillary, Euphydryas aurinia

I joined other Trust members on Tuesday for Marsh Fritillary habitat and larval web monitoring at Vicarage Meadows. This threatened species had been seen for the first time in ages there during a botanical outing earlier in the year - indeed the area was thought to be too remote from other populations to support the butterfly.

The search was on for the caterpillars feeding on their staple: Devil's-bit Scabious leaves. There is plenty of that species at Vicarage meadows so it took a lot of looking and, as it turned out, the expert with us, Russel of Butterfly Conservation, Wales was the only person to find any - but the rest of us enjoyed searching!

Marsh Fritillary or Euphydryas aurinia Caterpillars on Devil's-bit Scabious leaves.

Devil's-bit Scabious, Tamaid y cythraul or Succisa pratensis

The search

We also saw:
Saw-wort, Dant y pysgodyn or Serratula tinctoria

This plant was actually in the National nature Reserve beyond Vicarage Meadows but does occur at Vicarage Meadows as well.

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