Wednesday, June 14, 2006

White-letter hairstreak larva and pupa

Another treat from Brighton recently was finding a caterpillar of a white-letter hairstreak, Satyrium w-album. It was on a plant of white dead-nettle, although its foodplant is elm. Presumably it had been blown out of its tree (Brighton is well-known for its elms).

After a day or two in pupated and the characteristic pattern of this particular butterfly species soon developed.

The white-letter hairstreak population nosedived following the devastation of Dutch elm disease, but has since recovered quite well and is now widespread in South East England. It is, however, a rather difficult butterfly to see as it usually skulks about in the treetops.


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