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Butterflies in early spring

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Offline Sue

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« on: February 26, 2007, 21:37 PM »
Spring seems to be here early for a range of butterflies in Grazalema. During February we have watched:

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra)
Long-tailed blue (Lampides boeticus)
Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria)
Spanish festoon (Zerynthia rumina)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Small copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
Large tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros)
Red admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Large white (Pieris brassicae)
Small white (Pieris rapae)
Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Bath white (Pontia daplidice)
Clouded yellow (Colias crocea)
Wall brown (Lasiommata megera)

The first four should be seen around this time but the others scattered through March to May.

Has anyone else noticed this early activity?

Regards, Sue
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?

Offline Dave

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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2007, 18:59 PM »
Well we were up in Torre del Bierzo today, and counted 4 or 5 painted ladies ( Cynthia cardui). this is certainly the earliest I have ever seen them

Offline lucy

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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2007, 20:26 PM »
Walking round Collserola today, just outside Barcelona, I saw a lot of lemon-yellow butterflies with orange patches.    Anyone know what they might be? 

Offline Clive

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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2007, 21:21 PM »
Hola Lucy,

Cleopatra and clouded yellow spring to mind.

Sorry about the blurred male in the picture but they are pretty hard to capture whilst in flight. The female is waiting for him to land and ask nicely if she is in the mood. (The Cleopatra is about the size of a Cabbage White Butterfly)

The Clouded yellow is also a possibility but this is a third smaller than the Cleopatra and has a dark border around the wing.

The Cleopatra's have been on the wing since January down here in Grazalema.Along the river by us there is a lot of Rhamnus (part of the buckthorn family I think) and this is the caterpillars food plant.

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Offline lucy

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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2007, 09:40 AM »
Yes, definitely Cleopatra.  A really good photo. Thanks Clive.