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Plants for Bugs

RHS research project monitoring insects in native and non-native garden border plants.

Silver-Washed Fritillary Butterflies seen on Plants for Bugs

Posted by Helen Bostock Plantsforbugs on 09 Aug 2013 at 09:19 AM

 

Look at this gorgeous Silver-Washed Fritillary Butterfly that I spotted yesterday on the Plants for Bugs plots. It, like many other butterflies, was particularly attracted to the Verbena bonariensis (non-native). It is associated with woodland but can be seen in gardens feeding as an adult. I've had a couple in my own garden in Oxfordshire this summer too.

 

The tell-tale feature of this butterfly is the silver streaking on the underside of its wings. Similar species have spotting instead. Here you can see it catching the light;

 

 

This summer seems to have turned into a jolly good year for late butterflies. We are not known for having many butterflies at Wisley (excluding the Glasshouse Butterfly displays in winter of course!) but even we have been treated to a real show of Blues, Commas, Peacocks, Meadow Browns, Small Tortoiseshells and, to be expected, many Cabbage Whites.

 

Word has it that it's been a super year for bumblebees too. That's certainly been my experience. I've seen lavenders positively covered in them. Honey bees, less so.

 

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has noticed these insect trends this year. And if you're a bee keeper, how you've been fairing in 2013.

 

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