Sunshine and a Brimstone

5 March 2013

Amazing – we’ve had several hours of sunshine today. It was wonderful: the first time this year I was really enjoying being outside, not just enduring it for the sake of some fresh air and getting something done, and the icing on the cake was the appearance of a male Brimstone butterfly and a bee.

Left: Brimstone butterfly. Right: bee on helleore foetida.

Left: Brimstone butterfly. Right: bee on helleore foetida.

The male Brimstone is unmistakeable – bright yellow and with a distinctively-shaped hindwing. The female Brimstone is white, and so can be confused with the Large and Small Whites and the female Orange Tip. The butterfly I saw today will have emerged from its chrysalis in autumn 2012, and then hibernated through the winter, to emerge on the first sunny day of 2013.  I’m not a bee expert, so I’m not sure what the bee is, but it looks to me like it has got pollen sacs on its hind legs.

If you live in the UK, please note down any butterflies you see and send your records into your local branch of Butterfly Conservation – if you go to their website, you will find links to all the branches. If you live in Dorset, please make use of the super new recording form on the Dorset branch website. Wherever you are, we need your records to help us understand how the various species are faring, so we can do our best to help them all flourish – records of even the common species are important: what is common now might not be so in fifty year’s time.

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One Comment to “Sunshine and a Brimstone”

  1. Wow, it must be spring! Lucky you to have a beautiful Brimstone butterfly in your garden! Still haven’t seen either a bee or a butterfly yet this year, but hopefully it won’t be too much longer if it stays sunny.

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