Butterfly Bonanza

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Today ( Saturday July 23rd) was a brilliant day for butterflies; warm and dry

with little or no breeze. On our Ecotrail we saw the beautiful Red Admiral (Vanessa Atalanta)

feeding on Buddleia. Some experts 0n butterflies call the Buddleia the Pub on the Corner,

because the Red Admiral is addicted to the nectar. Watch out for it yourselves and check it out!

The eggs are laid on the terminal leaves of stinging nettles . It is one of our most

beautiful butterflies.

Common Blue

Common Blue

We also saw lots of Common Blues very close to the edge of the River Barrow, So close to us that we all saw the beautiful pale blue of the outer wings. The eggs are laid  singly on the upper surface of the food plant, Birds Foot Trefoil. The females are easily distinguished from the males. It is dusky brown suffused with violet-blue towards the base of the wings to a greater or lesser extent. The male is light shining blue shot with violet or mauve. On a summer’s day ,the beautiful blue of the butterfly matches the blue of the summer sky.

Dark Green Fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary

This large rapid flying  fritillary is usually found on rough hillside, cliffs and on open spaces near the sea. In inland Carlow we found lots of them  on a rough hillside. The larval food plant is Common Dog’s Violet, however Marsh Violet is often used as an alternative. It is a superb flyer, swift and darting and elusive. The colour is magnificent, a rich marmalade orange  colour with black spots. It sucks nectar from the blossoms of thistles to which it is greatly attracted. It is a magnificent sight to see such a large butterfly in great numbers.

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