Orange tips at Parke

The last few weeks of glorious weather has really brought out the butterflies. At Parke there has been a large emergence of orange tips.

Orange tip 1This is a male orange tip – in my view of of the most spectacular of of native species

Cuckoo flower 2The main food plant for the orange tip is the cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis) along with other members of the cabbage family. There is a good population of cuckooflower in our wet meadows along the River Bovey

Cuckoo ParkeCuckooflower has four petals (a chracteristic of the cabbage family) and the flowers have a lovely pink hue

I have written quite a bit about oil beetles and their larvae which are called triungulins – see here, here and here. The other day when I was looking for fritillaries at Parke (sadly no sign yet) I counted 35 flowers with oil beetle larvae in a area 20m x 30m – amazing – they are having a good year!

Tri 2Triungulins on lesser celandine (Ficaria verna)

Triungulins 1And more of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

 

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