Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Counting caterpillars and butterflies

Team Lychnis was back in action today as we finished off our mission to count the striped Lychnis moth caterpillars on lodge hill. We made a start last week and you can read about it here. Today we had to finish off searching part of one of the slopes and walk the fields around the base of the hill. We managed to find another 199 dark mullein plants and 13 caterpillars on the north slope, but it was quite tricky going in places.
Striped Lychnis moth caterpillar

Dark mullein plants

It was quite tricky to get the part of the slope we surveyed today
We walked around the fields at the base of the hill, but couldn't find any dark mullein anywhere. The fields were full of crops and there wasn't much of anything growing around the edges.

Nice views, but no sign of any dark mullein!
Our totals for this year compared to the last survey in 2010 were:
  • 2010: 430 plants and 48 caterpillars
  • 2015: 625 plants and 46 caterpillars 

While we were there Bug Mad Girl did another Big Butterfly Count. She counted 10 meadow browns, 1 six-spot burnet, 7 small heaths, 1 large skipper, 2 common blues, 6 gatekeepers, 2 ringlets, 2 small whites and 1 large white. Not bad considering it was quite windy and overcast! We entered the results on the Big #ButterflyCount website when we got home.


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