Silver-spotted Skipper by Mike Wearing

Silver-spotted Skipper by Mike Wearing

The last blog about butterflies covered some generalists which you can find on Butser, in the forest or along the rights of way hedge rows. This section begins with some of the habitat specialists which are linked to the downland of Butser, and the larger areas of open space in the forest such as the Brow Barrows picnic area. 
The Silver-spotted Skipper is restricted to chalk downland sites in southern England. Despite being scarce it is one of the few species which is actually increasing in its range. Easy to identify with the distinctive white spots found on the underside of the hind wings. The SSS is one of the latest butterflies to emerge and is not present until July or early August, remaining on the wing in to September.
 
Small Skipper
 
The Small Skipper is widespread in southern England living in colonies which can be large in size. Adults are on the wing in late June through August. They have a distinctive short buzzing flight among the tall grass stems and can be found in huge numbers among the Hawkbit and Red Clover in Rake Field. Please be aware that there are cattle in one half of this field.
Dark-green Fritillary by Mike Wearing

Dark-green Fritillary by Mike Wearing

This is the most widespread fritillary in the British Isles preferring grassland habitats. It gets its name from the green sheen on the underside of the hind wings. Adults emerge in the middle of June and are present through August. It can be found across Butser Hill.

 
Small Copper by Mike Wearing

Small Copper by Mike Wearing

 This is a fast flying butterfly with bright copper fore wings is easily remembered once seen. It is widespread throughout the summer months and occurs in small colonies across Butser. The last adults can be seen in middle October.

With 2-3 weeks of school holidays left and some good summer weather expected now is the time to get out and about in the Park and find some butterflies. Identification guides can be purchased from the visitor centre shop.

 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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