Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Speckled Wood

The bluebells attract all sorts of wildlife including humans. The picture here of a Speckled Wood butterfly was taken by one of the Stone Circle Livery clients who is a keen photographer. The aptly named Speckled Wood flies in partially shaded woodland with dappled sunlight. The male usually perches in a small pool of sunlight, from where it rises rapidly to intercept any intruder. Both sexes feed on honeydew in the tree tops and are rarely seen feeding on flowers, except early and late in the year when aphid activity is low. So the picture you see here is quite a rare sight.

Towards the northern and eastern margins of its range, the Speckled Wood breeds only in woodland habitats so it is no surprise to see one in our woods. There are plenty of open areas that allow sunlight through. In the main, the Speckle Wood likes a range of grass types as a food source including False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus), and Common Couch (Elytrigia repens). If you love your moths and butterflies you can go to the butterfly conservation website. It's packed with a lot of useful reference. Follow the link below.

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