Saturday, 2 July 2011

Meadow Brown.

Probably the most common and widespread of our butterflies in the UK  is the Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) which has a fairly long flight period with the first males usually appearing from late May, in a single brood, and often seen into early October.

It is one of the few butterflies capable of flying on overcast days and their natural colouration provides superb camouflage from predators when they drop to the ground amoungst the leaf litter. Whilst the sexes are distinct, both having the single spot on each fore wing, [Not to be confused with the Ringlet which has two spots (on the male) and three spots (on the female) on the fore wings] and the amount of orange can be very variable.

 Above is the slightly darker male mating with the lighter coloured female.

 A typical closed wing view of a male showing signs of wear feeding on a thistle.

 A female showing the distinctive orange patches on the fore wings.

 Here we see the much lighter colour and pattern of the under wings of a female.

These last two images (taken with the Canon Powershot S95) of a copulating pair clearly show the different colour pattern and shades of brown on the under wings .... the male is much darker with its wings overlapping

the lighter coloured female again clearly showing the paler wing band. 

Enjoy your wildlife watching ..... FAB.

Camera Critters

19 comments:

  1. sweet and simple coloration and love the name. meadow brown. earthy. :)

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  2. Hi There, So glad to get home and back to blogging. We did have a fabulous trip--but home is pretty nice also!!!!!

    Great shots of the butterflies... You certainly captured them at their very private moment--didn't you?????? ha... (Bet they didn't care!!!!)
    Betsy

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  3. Wonderful series, Frank! You always have such informative posts. Very nice.

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  4. Lovely collection of images the header is a great shot.

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  5. Lovely set Frank,great detail,i also love your Header.
    john.

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  6. That is impressive that you were able to capture them on different flowers! Sometimes I chase one butterfly around and still can't get a picture of it, because it won't stay still! Great job!

    Living So Abundantly: New meme coming this Thursday, July 7, 2011, Give Back Thursday--come join the fun!

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  7. You do so well with these LBJs. The details are wonderful.

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  8. Hi Frank,
    Lovely photo`s as ever! I think even Meadow Browns are finding it tough at the moment with numbers having dropped bty a fifth in the last year!
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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  9. Great photos with just the right amount of information. We have a similar butterfly here, ubiquitous throughout my meadow later in the summer. I'm just loving your header! ~karen

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  10. Great captures. They are wonderfully colored to blend and survive, aren't they. Your new header photo is terrific, too!

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  11. Lovely captures Frank and a very informative read.

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  12. You have taken a lot of great shots of butterflies recently Frank. The SW Fritillary is amazing.

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  13. HI Frank, Beautiful set of pictures of a butterfly I've seen only once!

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  14. Interesting post, Frank. In that first photo, the butterfly looks just like another leaf in the litter--great camouflage!

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  15. Delicate work and nicely done.

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  16. So much beauty in these wings. Wonderful photography.

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  17. Thank you Theresa.

    Thanks Betsy. I agree, it is always good to get home to your own bed. Delighted to hear you also had a great time away.

    Thank you Mona.

    Cheers Anthony.

    Thanks ladyfi.

    Hi JRandSue. Cheers John.

    Hi LivingSoAbuntantly. That also happens to me a lot .. lol.

    Thanks very much Steve.

    Hi John. Based on the numbers I have seen flying in the past few days it is difficult to assess this years progress for this species.

    Hi Karen. Isn't is great to know that we see similar species so far distant from one another.

    Thank you Lois.

    Cheers Andrew.

    Thanks Roy. Hopefully your Tuscan trip produced some good sightings.

    Thanks Chris.

    Hi Kelly. Yes, amazing how these flutters can just seem to disappear before your eyes.

    Thanks Eileen.

    Cheers Mike.

    Thank you Lisa.

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