Butterflies right around the corner

Good evening!

Well, the photo in the beginning should give you a hint: it’s all about photos and nature.
I like being outside with my camera and the nearest place to spot insects or birds is still the park behind the house. Perhaps you now think that this isn’t the right place, but you would be surprised. There’s more living on the ground and high up in the trees than you think!
Today I’ll show you a few butterflies. They are very common ones, nothing special, but nonethelss beautiful and fascinating.
I chased them, jumped into the bushes and crawled on my knees after them, just to take the “perfect” picture of them. Unfortunately it didn’t work out every time. 😉

In the beginning I was a little bit self-conscious because all of the people in the park, who were looking irrited in my direction. But after a while I grew accustomed to them and simply ignored them 😉 At least they didn’t ask me what the hell I was doing there!

And here’s the first butterfly I saw sitting in the sun, on the ground: a Comma, Polygonia c-album!

He’s named after the small white “C” at the underside of the wings. Of course I only took a picture of the colourful side of his wings, because I didn’t know the underside could be important.
This little butterfly looked like a lost soul in the desert while he was sitting there in the sun, on this brown ground surrounding him.
The comma is a diurnal butterfly and you can see him flying around very early in the year: already in march are the first ones outside. They are the ones who hibernated and therefore the first generation. The second and third appear between june and august.
There are two forms: the form that overwinters has dark undersides of the wings, the other form has lighter coloured wings. It’s interesting that both forms can arise from eggs laid by the same female, it depends on the photoperiod, host plants, temperature and sex.
Nymphalis c-album belongs to the family Nymphalidae. Like most species of this family comma has reduced a pair of forelegs, they are also called brush-footed butterflies or four-footed butterflies.

It’s a very common butterfly in germany and you can find him in the forest and at the border of these forests, in gardens and on grassland with fruit trees. So it’s very easy to find them and they are not special or something like that. Nevertheless I crawled after it and I still think it was worth it. 🙂 This photos didn’t turn out too bad.

I didn’t have to crawl after this Speckled wood, Parage aegeria.


He belongs to the subfamily Satyrinae. He’s very common in germany too and lives mostly in forests. The territory of the males is near the ground and they are searching for a spot with sun, as you can see on the photo. They eat tree sap and decaying fruits, because there are not many blooming flowers in the forest.
It’s easier to take a picture of this butterfly, because he simply sits in the sun 😉

Even more common is the European Peacock, Inachis io.

The caterpillars are eating the leaves of nettles and I concluded, that it would be better, if we let the nettles grow in our garden. Because we all like butterflies, but we don’t like nettles. Perhaps we should overthink that. At least long enough to let the little caterpillars grow and become butterflies 🙂 Imagine a garden full of European Peacocks. Wouldn’t that be great?
The European Peacock has two generations in one year. The first appears in july, the second between august and october.

The second generation begins to search for a place to hibernate right after they hatched.
How many eggs does the female lay?
400!! I can’t imagine how such a little butterfly can lay so many eggs and I don’t see them everywhere!!
The males have a 20-50m wide territory and as soon as a female approches (or anything which looks like a butterfly) they are already near and try to get the female. And the female butterfly only wants to mate with a very good flying male, which he has to prove 😉
The bigger the territory, the more increases the reproductive success. On the other side it has to defend its territory, which costs much energy.

I saw the butterflies mentioned above very often before, but the next one is different: Adela reaumurella, the Green longhorn. I never really saw this butterfly before, but he’s a fascinating little guy. So dark and shimmering in the sun…
It belongs to the family Adelidae.

You can see them between april and may in big swarms at the border of forests or bushes. It was there that I found 2-3 of them, but not a whole swarm 🙁 That would’ve been great!
The flying ones are the males, the females are flying mostly alone.
If a female approaches the swarm the males are immediately around her, chasing her and fighting for her. In the end one of the males wins, flies with her until they are both landing on the ground, to mate and lay the eggs.

You can see that the antenna are very long, normally twice as long as the butterfly is big. The colour is black and in the end white. If you see a female you can recognise it by the shorter antennae compared to the male.

Well, I think this is enough for today. 😉 I just like to talk about the photos I made and it would be boring just to see them and that’s it. I don’t find butterflies very often 😉

You can find the sources I used at the end of this entry. You can read a little bit more about the butterflies I found and see better pictures.
Perhaps you already realised that I have a few sources I really like. Besides from NABU and wikipedia I found www.naturspaziergang.de
It’s a very helpful site if you want to know what animal you found. I could classify every bee I searched for and the butterflies. If you have time you should take a look at this site, which exist since 10 years!
I want to thank Andreas Haselböck for his work and the permission to use his informations in my blog. You can find the link to his site on the left side from now on, together with the few other sites I really like.

Have fun! 🙂

I wish you a wonderful evening.

Sources:

Nymphalis c-album beim Naturspaziergang
Schmetterlinge in Deutschland: C-Falter
Wikipedia: Polygonia C album

Naturspaziergang: Pararge aegeria
Wikipedia: Waldbrettspiel
Wikipedia: Speckled Wood

NABU: Tagpfauenauge
Tierdoku: Tagpfauenauge
Wikipedia: Aglais Io

Naturspaziergang: Adela reaumurella
Tierdoku: Adela reaumurella
Wikipedia: Green longhorn

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