Speckled Wood Butterfly (Pararge aegeria) - Devon, UK
Canon 300mm F4 IS plus 1.4 x Extender and Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II
Fill Flash -2/3, Tripod
AV Mode, Evaluative Metering dialed to -2/3
Text adapted from - http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?vernacular_name=Speckled%20Wood
The Speckled Wood is a common butterfly and familiar to many observers, especially in woodland where, as its name suggests, it is most often found. The appearance of this butterfly changes from north to south, forming a "cline", where individuals in the north are dark brown with white spots, with those in more southerly locations being dark brown with orange spots. This has given rise to a number of named subspecies.
This subspecies occurs through the range of this species, with the exception of Scotland and the Isles of Scilly.
This subspecies represents the population found in Scotland. This subspecies is larger that the tircis subspecies, is darker and has paler white patches on the upperside.
This subspecies occurs on the Isles of Scilly. It differs from the tircis subspecies by having larger and more orange-coloured pale patches on the upperside.
This butterfly is found in self-contained colonies throughout the British Isles, but is absent in both the south and extreme north of Scotland. However, as this species expands its range, it is anticipated that it will fill the remaining gaps in its distribution.
This species is unique among the butterflies of the British Isles in that it can overwinter in 2 stages, as both a larva and pupa. As a result, there is a mixed emergence with adult butterflies on the wing from April through to September, with a few adults being seen as early as March or as late as October, especially at southern sites. There are 2 or 3 generations, depending on location and weather conditions and adults of later generations are generally darker than those emerging earlier in the year.