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Butterflies and Moths


By toto


I thought I’d like to share a few photos of the butterflies and moths which I have been lucky enough to see. It always gives me a great deal of pleasure to see such delicate insects displaying what, in my humble opinion are some of the most beautiful colours and patterns that occur anywhere in nature.
I nearly always need to look them up in a book to be able to identify them by name so I hope you will forgive me if I have got any wrong. If there is anyone who notices an error in my identification, please let me know.
One more thing please direct all complaints about the existence of this blog to (Ok, no names no pack drill) whose suggestion it was for me to put this together. Sorry.

Painted Lady – Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady – Vanessa cardui. Showing the underwing,

Holly Blue

Green Veined White – Pieris napi

Comma – Polygonia c album

Comma – Polygonia c album showing underwing

Large White Caterpillar (Cabbage White) – Pieris brassicae. Probably not the allotment holders favourite.

Gatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus

Gatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus showing underwing

I don’t know. Can anybody help?
Number 1

Peacock – Inachis io

Red Admiral – Vanessa atlanta

Small skipper (I think) Thymelicus silvestris

Spotted Wood – Aegeria tircis

Small Dusty Wave – Iadaea seriata

I don’t know. Can anybody identify this one?
Number 2

Red_Chestnut – Cerastis rubricosa

Angel Shades_ – Plogophora meticulosa

Orange Swift – Hepialus sylvina

Not sure about this one either.
Number 3

Something you definitely do not want to see on your shrubs or trees. This and the picture below are the “tents” of the Brown Tail Moth. Whwn the caterpillers hatch they can defoliate a whole tree in no time at all. If you see these do not touch as each caterpiller has literally millions of small hairs which are an irritant and can cause a rash. I took this photograph in a lane in Worcestershire. The hedge was already defoliated.

Brown tailed moth caterpiller

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Wow!!! I'm absolutely gobsmacked!!! I certainly know who to ask if I get a butterfly in my garden, that is, if any of my new plants "flower!!" I'm also amazed you know the cause of the destruction of that poor hedge! :-(

25 Feb, 2009


stunning photos and so nice to see the latin names too.

25 Feb, 2009


Great pics and blog. Those brown tailed moth pics are frightening. We have something similar called the Tent caterpillar, I'll see if I can get a pic later, they are most active in late spring.

26 Feb, 2009


Well I don't know why anyone would want to complain. They're such brilliant photos. Thanks for showing them. I hope to see more butterflies this year.

26 Feb, 2009



Yes, I asked for this blog and am more than delighted with it !
Really brilliant.
I like every single photo, Toto. :o)

Terra. x

May I suggest you put a number reference next to the butterflies etc. you can't identify. Helpful for when members are referring to a specific picture. Thanks.

26 Feb, 2009


Thanks everyone.
Wohlubuli. The pics. of the the brown tail moth tents were taken in August last and by then there was only the odd caterpiller present so I guess they would have been active at about the same time as your tented caterpiller. In an attempt to see if they are in fact the same I have included a photo of one of the caterpillers which I pinched from a government website.
Thanks TT I'll do that.

26 Feb, 2009


Lovely pictures, Toto. A reminder of pleasures yet to come.

26 Feb, 2009


Thanks Bulbaholic, I do hope so.

26 Feb, 2009


Brill photos.

26 Feb, 2009


No complaints, Toto, great blog and some lovely photos. Several years ago a friends young daughter kept some of those hairy caterpillars as pets!! When the rash appeared she was rushed to the docs who thought she had scabies -took a while to unravel the mystery!!

26 Feb, 2009


Brilliant blog Toto,and lovely pics.Butterflies not easy to I.D. with wings closed,but think No.3 moth is called Large Yellow Underwing,mainly identifiable by swept back antennae.

You re right about the Small Skipper my book states that the Essex Skipper has black antennea whilst Small Skippers is orangey brown which can be seen in your photo.

No.2 a guess but there is a moth called a Heart and Dart which has heart shaped blotches on outer wing and dart shapes closer to body - do you think this looks like that ?

26 Feb, 2009


Thanks Gee.
Your probably right Bonkers. I also looked at the Essex Skipper and after sometime decided that it was the Small Skipper. As for the Large Yellow, I will have a look in my book and see if it's there. I must admit that I've never heard of a Heart and Dart but I will also check this out and let you know. Between us and other members of GOY, we should be able to sort it out. Thanks for your input and interest. Alan.

26 Feb, 2009


Wow....great blog Toto. We will have to start calling you "Moth Man".

We get tent caterpillers up here too. I don't know if they are exactly the same as Wohlibuli gets in the south. They can do an awful lot of damage especially to the fruit trees which are one of their favourite host trees. They are similar but not exactly the same as your picture...I will post a pic in my site if you want to check it out.

Thanks for this excellent blog. I can't imagine why anyone would complain. I think its fantastic. :o)

28 Feb, 2009


Thanks Gilli. I don't think that description "moth man" would be fair to those people who really do know about them. I am a complete amateur who just happens to think they are beautiful creatures and enjoys photographing them. As I said in the blog, I know a few of their names by heart but need to look up many of them in my books. As for the Latin names, I always have to look these up as I can never remember them.
Buy the way you have been on my favourites since I first joined GOY so get your pics anyway and have already responded to your picturs of the Gypsy Moth. Thanks again for the information.

28 Feb, 2009


well done toto, you take fab pics, unfortunately the only ones I see here on a regular basis is the cabbage white

28 Feb, 2009


We don't get them in the garden so much Islander, but when I had my allotments they were the scourge that we all dreaded. Ond day you would have lovely brussels sprouts and the next you would have lovely stalks.

28 Feb, 2009


Great pictures. I just sent my Grandson a butterfly
cage and set. He gets five caterpillars and feeds them,
watches them grow and build their crysilis, then break out into painted lady butterflies. In a couple days when they are strong, he releases them and can start over if he wishes. A great learning experience and the set is called "Watch them grow, then let them go".

28 Feb, 2009


Thanks Harli, that sounds a great thing to give someone. Just the thing to encourage an interest in nature.

1 Mar, 2009


Amazing blog, toto! A whole reference book right here. Many thanks for posting this (and to Terra, for requesting it).

1 Mar, 2009


Thanks David. I'm not sure that TT would own up to actually "requesting it" but she is guilty of "suggesting" it. She probably thought that I would stop posting my photos one by one if I got a lot of them out of the way in one blog.
Little does she know. As soon as the sun shines and the butterflies and moths start to fly, I will be out trying to photograph them again and then you'll all be sorry!

2 Mar, 2009


Enjoyed this very much Toto...we have the tent catepillars here. There are little traps set for them by our forest service every year to try to keep track of them...they were hardest on the apple trees it seems when I was a dad was for ever cutting off limbs and burning them. I do love your bog of all the pretty moths & butterflies..have not paid enough attention..see them flitting in the fields all the time..need to go sit out there and see what I can get in the way of photos' one day..inspirational..thanks...!

4 Mar, 2009


Thanks Cat. I'm sure you will enjoy it. You do have some extremely beautiful butterflies in your part of the world. I look forward to seeing your photos.

4 Mar, 2009


O what a selection Of Moths & Butterflys Toto :) The Pics are Fab :)

19 Apr, 2009


Thanks Jacque.

19 Apr, 2009


Beautiful, just beautiful, by this, i mean the pics, of the butterfly, not
the Moth. I am not saying that the moth is ugly....Because everything
is beautiful in its own way!! I really enjoyed this blog Toto...: >)))

22 Mar, 2010


Thanks Freesiaperson.

22 Mar, 2010



hopefully this thread is still monitored. I took some photos last night of what I think may be brown tail moth. I live in East Yorkshire - not sure if they appear that far north yet. I wondered if you'd take a look and see if they are indeed that species.

I've put the pictures in a Flickr set at

28 May, 2012

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