Dark Green Fritillaries

Craig Reed photographed these lovely Dark Green Fritillary butterflies in Wyre recently. This species was first recorded in the Forest a few years ago and they are now breeding annually. The females use scent to locate violets on which they lay their eggs. When the caterpillars hatch they immediately go into hibernation and only start to feed the following spring, leaving characteristic moon-shapes holes in the violet leaves. They can sometimes be seen basking nearby.

Dark Green Fritillaries, Dowles Valley, 25 June 2018, photographed by Craig Reed

Dark Green Fritillaries, Dowles Valley, 25 June 2018, photographed by Craig Reed

Dark Green Fritillary caterpillar, Longdon, 13 May 2017, photograph by Rosemary Winnall

Marbled Whites

This recent hot weather has meant that many butterflies have emerged from pupation and they have been flying in the sunshine. Mick Farmer counted 40+ Marbled Whites in a meadow in Golden Valley, Bewdley and has kindly sent these lovely photos. We are right on the edge of their range and they have been slowly moving northwards. They were first seen in the Wyre Forest in 1997, and reached Bridgnorth in 2015. They like unimproved meadows with long grass, especially Red Fescue, one of the larval food plants.

Marbled Whites, Bewdley, 26 June 2017 ©Mick Farmer

Marbled White, Bewdley, 21 June 2017 ©Mick Farmer

Marbled Whites in cop, Bewdley, 26 June 2017 ©Mick Farmer

Dark Green Fritillaries

A few Dark Green Fritillary butterflies have been spotted flying in Wyre this summer, along rides and in meadows. It is thought that they may have been released by a breeder rather than be natural colonisation. Jonathan Cartwright was able to get these photographs – not an easy task as these butterflies are strong flyers, especially in the heat of the day!

Dark Green Fritillary, Wyre Forest, 16th July 2014

Dark Green Fritillary, Wyre Forest, 16th July 2014