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Monday, 31 August 2015

Butterflies of the Surrey Hills; Chalk Hill Blue, Adonis Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Treble-bar Moth, Drinker Moth?, Hornet and bees at Ranmore.

The steep, south-facing chalk hills at Ranmore were fabulous for insects, especially butterflies and moths yesterday.  

Scores of Chalk Hill Blues were flying around.
Near the middle of the photo' above is a tiny, vivid blue speck:
an Azure Blue, a little battered and missing areas of scales from its wings yet stunningly blue none the less.
Meadow Browns were present in significant numbers; a female above and a male below.

Smaller and more orange than the Meadow Browns were some Small Heaths, above.

This might be a Treble-bar Moth, Aplocera plagiata, whose caterpillars feed on St John's Wort, which food plant was in flower still.

Is this a Drinker Moth?  Any ideas anyone?

Common Carder bees were common still.
And this looks like a male Red-tailed bumblebee.

A Hornet seemed to be scraping wood from this dead stem to expand its nest cells.
There is such a variety of insect and plant life on this hillside, which being steep is a good opportunity for some vigorous exercise too!

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