Saturday, 20 July 2013

Ringlet butterfly

Currently the most frequent butterfly at Filnore Woods is the Ringlet.  It gets its name from the tiny rings on its wings both on top of the dark velvety wings and underneath.  When they are newly emerged you may also notice the white edging of the wings but this fades as the butterfly gets older.
The rings are clearer on the underside of the wings, if you can get close enough to a ringlet when it is perched.
The dark colour helps them to absorb heat and warm up on even a dull day so they fly around even when it's cloudy.   The flight looks rather feeble, as if they are just about to land, but they never seem to when I am following them with my camera.  The peak flight period is mid-July so hurry to see them now.
The caterpillars feed on lush, green grass.  They are hard to spot but have a dark line down their back.  Sadly the grass at Filnore is rather dry this year so we may not have so many successful caterpillars to provide next year's Ringlets.
The three excellent shots above are from the UK Butterflies website
The adults feed on bramble, thistle and ragwort so they are having a fine feast at Filnore.

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