Monday, 21 June 2010

Large Blue Big Brother

After visiting North Somerset this morning to not see an interesting and rare orchid ( it's that rare it's non-existent) I popped in at Collard Hill to have a look at the Large Blues, which I thoroughly enjoyed seeing  here on the same day last year. As usual there were far more people there than Large Blues! Because it is an open access site the butterflies here are watched intently, photographed and filmed in the minutest of detail every day of their short lives, which got me thinking that it was a bit like a butterfly version of  Big Brother. Not long after I'd arrived today I saw a group of men gathered around a recently emerged female and they were discussing whether or not she'd mated yet. I heard one of them say " I think she's already mated, you can tell by looking at the shape of her abdomen"  Is nothing sacred?!!
Here's a Large Blue getting some close attention.
 I joined in of course...
...and took this photo of the recently emerged female...
...though I'm not making any judgements on the shape of her abdomen!!
It was too hot today to get photos with the wings open; even when nectaring they had their wings closed.
Here we see a cameraman filming an interview with a female Large Blue for this Friday's edition of  The One Show. When  he asked  "Could you tell us if you've recently mated or is your abdomen always that shape?" She was heard to reply
  " **** off paparazzo!!"

Seriously though Collard Hill is a great site, the open access policy is a good thing too because it introduces new people to the delightful Large Blue, which in the past had been allowed to become extinct in the UK It's a great site for Marbled White too. Well worth a visit. I've pencilled it in for next year already!:-)


kirstallcreatures said...

Great post Karen, nice to see the pics of the Large Blue and I had a good chuckle too.

Henry Johnson said...

The National Trust have claimed in the past to have 'saved the large blue from extinction'. Sounds impressive, but as I'm sure you know the British subspecies is no longer and the population is now made up of descendents from butterflies introduced from the European mainland. (Has this affected the shape of their abdomens? I'm saying nothing.)