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Posts tagged ‘collard hill’

Aerial zebras

Marbled White Butterfly – Melanargia galathea (Male)

Melanargia galathea – Male

Readers of my last post about my visits to Collard Hill may have got the impression that it was a disappointment. It wasn’t, the view from the Polden Hills is breathtaking and freshly emerged specimens of the monochromatic magnificence that is the Marbled White Melanargia galathia were abundant. I’m often asked which is my favourite butterfly and that’s a really tough call as I have so many. But, this is possibly my favourite ‘white’ even if technically it’s a ‘brown’.

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The return of the Large Blue

Large Blue Butterfly – Maculinea arion (Female)

Maculinea arion – Female

Sunday before last I drove down to Somerset to catch a glimpse of the Large Blue Maculinea arion. Always a rare insect, our native Large Blue became extinct in 1979. It has since been reintroduced from stock brought in from Sweden to various sites in southern England, most of which remain ‘secret’. However, Collard Hill which is owned by The National Trust is open to public access. Thirteen years ago larvae were introduced there and the population has now grown to the point where it is one of the best sites in Europe to see this rare butterfly. Well, at least it has been. Last year’s extremely wet summer and this year’s cold spring haven’t helped. But that’s not the only problem it has to contend with.

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