Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
   Highland Branch
 » Homepage
 » Latest news
 » Events
 » Your records
 » Surveys
 » Species
 » Newsletter
 » Committee
 » Contact us
 » Links
branch logo
Links to the national Butterfly Conservation website
 » National website
 » BC Scotland
 » BC Membership
 » Orkney
 » Shetland
 » Western Isles

Latest news archive

Items from July to August 2008 appear on this page

Items from previous years have been archived, but can still be accessed by clicking the links below:
| Jan - Jun 2008 | Sep - Nov 2008 | Jan - June 2009 | July - Nov 2009 | Feb - June 2010 | Jul - Dec 2010 | Jan - June 2011 | July - Dec 2011 | Jan - June 2012 | July - Sep 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022


Garden butterflies in the Inverness area have been scarce this month - eg in a garden west of the Canal only 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Peacock were seen on buddleia on 14th August, and 4 Peacock and 4 Red Admiral on the same bushes on 31st August.

Scotch Argus (photo by Tina Dear)Nairn appears to have fared better - Tina Dear has seen numerous butterflies in her garden on the outskirts, including several Scotch Argus.

Thanks to Tina for sending us this picture.

From Glen Moriston, Jane Bowman reports lovely pristine Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells, but only 1 Red Admiral at 250m. There are also huge numbers of Scotch Argus there this year. In contrast, George Mair reports an absence of Scotch Argus from the Bauds Wood (which lies between the Bin of Cullen and the A98) and from Crannoch Hill on the outskirts of Cullen - where in previous years it was abundant. However, Speckled Wood, some of them very fresh looking, are still there in large numbers. Roy Leverton sends a similar picture from Ordiquhill, just over the boundary into Aberdeenshire, where the Scotch Argus has "had a most appalling year, with just the occasional single rather than the usual dozens. Only Speckled Wood did well". He says that during the last fortnight there have been reasonable numbers of butterflies on the buddleias, the highest counts being 15 Peacocks, 8 Red Admirals and 20 Small Tortoiseshells.

Jane has been busy photographing caterpillars this month, and she has kindly sent us these pictures of (left to right) Sallow Kitten, Emperor Moth and Goat Moth caterpillars. She found the Emperor Moth larva feeding on willow (more often they're on heather). The Goat Moth larvae, which burrow under the bark of broad leaved trees, were found on birch.

Sallow Kitten larva (photo by Jane Bowman)Emperor Moth larva (photo by Jane Bowman)Gota Moth larva (photo by Jane Bowman)Goat Moth larva (photo by Jane Bowman)


Jane Bowman sent us these photos of moths and caterpillars which are all in her garden at present. From left to right, they show a Pebble Prominent caterpillar, a Knot Grass caterpillar, a Light Knot Grass caterpillar, an Antler Moth and a Burnished Brass.Pebble Prominent caterpillar (phot by Jane Bowman)Knot Grass caterpillar (photo by Jane Bowman)Light Knot Grass caterpillar (photo by Jane Bowman)Antler Moth (photo by Jane Bowman)Burnished Brass (photo by Jane Bowman)



This particular Pebble Prominent caterpillar has just turned into a pupa, but caterpillars of this moth (and some of its relatives) may still be found in August feeding on sallows and poplars (look for signs of eaten foliage).


Northern Eggar caterpillar (photo by Liz Butcher)Liz Butcher sent this fine photo of a fully grown Northern Eggar moth caterpillar, which she found near Knockan Crag, 13 miles north of Ullapool. If you come across this caterpillar, be careful about handling it, because its hairs can severely irritate sensitive skin.

George Mair reports that Speckled Wood is by far the most numerous butterfly species around Portknockie and Cullen at present. In contrast, he has seen no Scotch Argus this year so far. Meadow Browns are quite plentiful and widespread. There are still a few Ringlet on the wing, but these are now looking worn. He has seen up to 10 Small Tortoiseshells on buddliea in his garden. His only Peacock sighting (since spring) occurred on 30/07/2008 at NJ 493 687. Common Blues, mostly males, are still to be found along the coast.


Roy Leverton counted 10 Grayling on the dunes at Nairn (NH 8957), by far the most numerous butterfly species seen.

29/07/2008 Scotch Argus butterfly (photo by Tony Mainwood & Malcolm Harvey)

Scotch Argus habitat near Kiltarlity (photo by Tony Mainwood & Malcolm Harvey)At a site near Kiltarlity, west of Inverness, Tony Mainwood and Malcolm Harvey found at least 100 Scotch Argus in a small area of wet grassland/drained marsh. Here are two photos showing the distinctive dark colourings of the butterfly, and the habitat in which they found it.


Brian Neath had his first Scotch Argus of the year on his Carr Brae transect. Other species recorded were Green-veined White, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and Small Heath.

Overnight on 23rd July Brian recorded an extraordinary 213 Magpie Moths in and around his Robinson trap in his garden (there were only 2 on the 20th). Highlights amongst the other 45 species were 6 Barred Carpet, a V-pug and a Scotch Annulet.

George Mair visited Crannoch Wood on the outskirts of Cullen, just inside the Moray border (NJ 522 664). Between 15:30 and 16:00 hrs he observed large numbers of Ringlet and even larger numbers of Speckled Wood - a greater concentration of butterflies than he had ever seen. He also recorded 5 fresh looking Red Admiral.


In the dunes close to the shore at Findhorn, 20 Common Blue, 15 Grayling, 2 Small Copper and 1 Dark Green Fritillary were seen between 12:00 and 14:00 hrs. There were also larger numbers of Six-spot Burnet moths. Weather sunny, very warm, with light onshore breeze.


Tony Mainwood recorded a Small Copper near Rogart today - the first he has seen of the second generation. Suzanne Gyseman reported a Ringlet from Assich Forest on Nairnside, south of Croy, Inverness-shire (NH 808 468).

George Mair reports "large numbers" of Ringlet at Cullen, Portknockie and Findochty, along the coast and inland, some on the wing well into the evening, up to 20:00 hrs. He also saw a Dark Green Fritillary and Red Admiral near Hillhead Cemetary, between Portknockie and Findochty (NJ 475 684).


A small group from Assynt Field Club visited East Sutherland today and observed Northern Brown Argus (nine at one site near Rogart), Ringlet (four at Camore Wood) and Small Blue (five or six at Dornoch) as well as a good variety of other species.


Dark Green Fritillary (photo by Tony Mainwood)Tony Mainwood saw this Dark Green Fritillary with unusually dark wing markings at Loch Fleet today.


More Ringlets have been found at Bogbuie Wood. Margaret Currie, Andy Scott and Jimmy McKellar reported one specimen at Grid Ref NH 619 583, and three at NH 620 583. Jimmy describes the existence of this colony as a significant contribution to our Ringlet distribution map.

Ringlet upperwing, spots absent (photo by Malcolm Harvey)Ringlet, underside, feint spots (photo by Malcolm Harvey)Ringlets have also been reported at Kiltarlity, west of Inverness. Malcom Harvey took these photos of a very plain example, with only feint white spots on the underwings and none on the upperwings.


Margaret Currie found a single Ringlet at Bogbuie Wood on the Black Isle (NH 619 584).

04/07/2008 George Mair reports numerous Ringlet at Portknockie (NJ 490 687 and NJ 495 682), also two Common Blue and one Small Blue (NJ 490 687).

Tony Mainwood saw two Grayling butterflies at Loch Fleet - the first of the year. He also reports lots of Magpie moths about this year.

Speckled Woods have re-appeared in an Inverness garden, suggesting a second brood (first sightings were on 7th May). Also a Meadow Brown in same location, Grid Ref NH 646 461. These are the first butterflies seen in this garden since the beginning of June.

Copyright Butterfly Conservation © 2006 Highland Branch
Privacy and Copyright Statement
Butterfly Conservation
Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP
Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)