Over the past years I have been very interested in wildlife, especially small stuff. I've recently got my own camera and started taking photos of small creatures such as insects and arachnids. This blog will share some of my photos and experiences.
On Tuesday 11th we went to Whipsnade Zoo, because we read about the fact that they had installed a new butterfly house. At first, I thought that it would be a tiny area with about ten tropical butterflies in. When I got to the Zoo, however, I was very much mistaken...
African Moon moth
The African Moon moths were easy to photograph, as they were very far away from the path, and sealed well in a net. The owner of the butterfly enclosure said that he did have them out of the nets, but they never flew, and kept getting handled, and therefore damaged.
Now, this is a moth I have been dreaming about seeing my whole life. I believe that, along side the Surreptitious Palm borer, it is the ultimate moth! The Atlas moth was also confined to a net, but after I fiddled with the picture a bit, this picture looks great!
Blue Clipper Butterfly
The Blue Clipper Butterfly is all done and dusted when it comes to sensational colours and patterns. This fast-flying work of art was a joy to watch. I got a picture of this specimen when it rested on some kind of exotic plant.
Blue Morpho Butterfly
This Blue Morpho Butterfly was very hard to photo, because it was continuously fluttering about, or landing with it's wing closed up. However, this one landed on a rock, and I took the opportunity to take a photo before it flew. A similar species would be the Owl Butterfly, when it had it's wings folded up. The species below is also a Blue Morpho, just with it's wings folded up.
This butterfly is very similar to the Blue clipper, just with different colour markings on it. The flight pattern was the same, so was the location in the world. I must, say, I preferred the Blue Clipper far more, but the Brown Clipper was much better than any of the English butterflies!
Blue Morpho with closed wings
Blue Morpho with closed wings
This is an image of a Common Crow butterfly. The name intrigues me, as this butterfly is anything but a crow. I loved it's vibrant brown wing colour, and along with the white spots, this species was one of the most simply coloured, yet pretty moths on show in the butterfly house. They never landed with their wings open. The species below is a Common Crow, feeding on a rotting orange.
Large Tree Nymph
This butterfly reminds me of a Marbled White butterfly, which is native to England. In fact, if the butterfly had been half of it's real size, the two species would have looked very much like each other. The name Large Tree Nymph id really quite silly, because they never really flew onto a tree. On the other hand, they were large. None of them seemed to have their wings fully open, but i am quite pleased with this photo.
This butterfly is a master of disguise, as it looks like a very convincing leaf. This angle makes it look even more so. However, if you turned this picture around, you would see an incredible array of colour, ranging from a light yellow to a fantastic purple.
In the butterfly enclosure, there was a space where you could see lots of butterflies hatching out of a chrysalis. The picture below shows a rack of pupa, all different colours and sizes. In the middle is a hatching butterfly, that will be released into the butterfly house.
The Flambeau Butterfly was a very unique one indeed. They flew in a very odd pattern, and refused to land with their wings open. Their wings were extremely long, and very orange. They were oddly shaped as well. They flew in a strange manor as well, almost bird like. Despite their oddities, I would rate the Flambeau butterfly very highly.
Well, what can I say that I haven't said already about the beauty of the butterflies inhabiting butterfly world? Beautiful, vibrant and a treat to the eye. This Emerald Swallowtail butterfly never really flew around, I only saw it settled on this leaf.
This is a very well named moth. It's patterns are exactly like a zebras stripes, and it's wings are very long! They fluttered about more moth-like than butterfly-like, just with much more slender wings than a moth. This one is settled on the leaf.
Now, this name is one of the worst I've heard for any insect in the world. I mean- Great Eggfly? At leat they should give it a name that sounds more butterfly-ish, shouldn't they. Well, the name is the only criticism I'm going to make about this beauty. It's black wings with the white spots surrounded by purple make a perfect combo. A definite yes from me!
Now, after a long time of trying to look up the name for this butterfly, I finally had a brainwave and searched on google 'Malachite butterfly female', because it looked a little like that. I thought the eyes might have been used to attract females. I was wrong. After five minutes of scrolling down google images, I came across The Lime Butterfly. Bingo! Another moth ID'd! It was the first butterfly i saw when I walked into the enclosure.
This butterfly does almost anything but deliver letters. I'm sure the name for this species is because it's colours are a little bit like a postman's outfit. I'll have to look it up for the proper meaning if I'm wrong. The vibrant colours may be used to display to females (two females are shown below)
This Red Lacewing specimen was my favourite butterfly in the whole of Butterfly world. In my opinion it stands antennae and head above the rest! Even with closed wings, this butterfly was dazzling, with stripes, zig- zags and all other types of patterns. Check out the Whipsnade Zoo spotters guide for a picture of the Red Lacewing with open wings.
The Scarlet Mormon was the largest butterfly in the butterfly world at Whipsnade. It was also probably one of the easiest ones to photograph, because it always landed with it's wings displayed like they are in the picture. It's beautiful colours mean that it can display to females (this is a male), and the one below is a female.
The Tailed Jay butterfly was one of my favourites in the Butterfly world because it reminded me of a moth and a butterfly st the same time. Apart from staying still just this once, it fluttered in rapid wingbeats around the flowers. My camera just didn't have a good enough calibre to take in-flight butterfly pictures.
Another longwing species of Butterfly at Whipsnade's incredible butterfly world. This time, I took the photo on a pink sign, as the Tiger Longwing, which I had been chasing with my camera for all of 1 minute, decided to settle. I think he settled on the pink because it thought it was a flower.
The Malachite butterfly is one that looks very different with its wings folded up, because it appears pink. When it opens it's wings, it displays a mixture of yellow and green. The image below shows the malachite Butterfly with it's closed wings. Compare the difference in colour.
Great Orange Tip
The great Orange Tip is a larger version of the English Orange Tip. The only difference is the size and it's appearance with closed wings. The shot I took below shows the back and front of it's wing. It's proboscis is visual as it feeds on a tropical flower.
This butterfly is one of the masters of camouflage and deceiving predators. It can blend in with the trunk of a tree almost effortlessly, and the fake eyes on it's wings make out that it is much larger than it actually is.
I went out on a walk with my dad and my sister to go to Shuttleworth Estate. Even though it was September, it was a hot morning and so we recorded these two butterflies that I've never seen in the garden.
Small Copper- Shuttleworth Estate, 3rd September 2013