Friday, May 25, 2012

Glanville Glamour!

In 1842, young Edward Newman discovered the Glanville Fritillary on the Isle of Wight 'with a feeling of triumph'. 170 years later old Stephen Plummer finally caught up with the Glanville Fritillary on the Isle of Wight 'with a feeling of triumph'! :-)

During a walk over Freshwater Cliffs with the IOW Butterfly Conservation branch we came across several and they didn't fail to disappoint.

The Butterflies of Britain & Ireland by Thomas and Lewington is the butterfly Bible that should adorn the bookshelf of everyone interested in learning more about these wonderful insects. Jeremy Thomas introduces the section on the Glanville Fritillary thus:

'I have had the pleasure of studying the ecology of all eight British fritilleries and, to my mind, the Glanville is both the loveliest and the most interesting. it is probably also the rarest, being confined nowadays to perhaps a dozen sites on the Isle of Wight, to a few on Alderney and Guernsey, and to two introductions on the English mainland. Any of them is worth visiting in May. They are beautiful locations in their own right, most being warm, sheltered undercliffs, carpeted with wild flowers such as Thrift and Common Bird's-foot-trefoil, which form the butterfly's principal nectar sources. The Glanville Fritillery's delicate underwings are especially attractive seen against these pink and yellow blooms, and it is a fine butterfly in flight, whether gliding swiftly through still air or battling with whirring wingbeats against a sea breeze.'

I'm looking forward to a Glanville summer! :-)

It was good to meet new friends, too. Other butterflies seen were Small White, Large White, Common Blue, Small Blue, Small Heath, Dingy Skipper, Small Skipper, Green Hairstreak and Wall. I found an impressive female Fox Moth and we also examined a Garden Tiger caterpillar....and avoided a Brown-tail caterpillar!!


  1. A productive walk! the Frittilery is lovely.

  2. Lovely pics Steve, Ive just joined the Iow and Hants butterfly conservation group, waiting for my membership pack. Im a total novice to be honest, but reading blogs like yours is certainly educating me!!

  3. It's well worth saving up and buying the Thomas & Lewington butterfly book, Dave - it's packed full of fascinating information about our butterflies that will make you really notice them around you....I'm learning, too!
    The fritilleries are fascinating butterflies, Toffeeapple....and beautiful with it! :-)