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Yorkshire butterflies

Peacock butterflies, Timble Woods

Peacock butterflies, Timble Woods

The butterflies of Yorkshire.

Yorkshire butterflies: comma

Comma butterfly

The comma is a butterfly which has declined severely, but which is making a comeback.

The ragged shape of its wings, and their colouring, enables hibernating adults to blend in against dead leaves. Larvae are brown and white, and resemble bird droppings.

This comma was in a patch of open ground on the edge of woodland, where a lot of nettles (the main food plant for the larvae) grow, at Staveley nature reserve. A sign indicates that the patch of ground is specifically intended for comma butterflies...those people at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust know what they're doing!

Yorkshire butterflies: peacock

Peacock butterfly, Yorkshire

In summer 2018, there is a proliferation of peacocks in Timble Woods, near Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs.

Peacock butterfly, Timble Woods

Yorkshire butterflies: red admiral

Red admiral

The red admiral is a common butterfly in Yorkshire. This one was on Yorkshire Water land at Timble Ings, near Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs.

While bright and distinctive with its wings open, the red admiral is quite well camouflaged, wings closed, against a fallen log.

Red admiral, Timble Woods

Red admiral

Yorkshire butterflies: small white

Small white

Both the small and large white butterflies are called 'cabbage whites'. The caterpillars eat brassicas, including cabbages; they will also eat wild plants.

Yorkshire butterflies: speckled wood

Speckled wood butterfly

The speckled wood likes grassy, flowery habitats in, or on the edge of, woodland. As an adult butterfly, it feeds on nectar.

Some males defend territory - they find a sunny spot in the forest, and mate with a female if she flies into the territory. Other males patrol - fly through the forest actively searching for females. The female butterfly typically only mates once.

The caterpillar is green with a short, forked tail, and eats a variety of grasses.

Speckled wood, Staveley nature reserve

The species can overwinter as half-grown larvae or as pupae.

Yorkshire butterflies: wall brown

Wall brown butterfly

The wall butterfly, or wall brown, basks on walls and rocks. It lives in areas where there is short grass, and turf is bare, broken, or stony. It is in decline.

All images © Hedgehog Cycling

Yorkshire wildlife: brown hare

Hare at Studley Royal

The brown hare, or European hare, is a charismatic wild resident of Yorkshire. This non-native species has been in Britain since Roman times at least. Preferring arable land, or grassland with hedges, brown hares are most likely to be seen in the spring. That's the time of year when they may display 'boxing' behaviour.

Read about the brown hare.

Yorkshire wildlife

Red kite, Yorkshire Showground

Yorkshire wildlife, from red kites to hares, hedgehogs, and seals. Notes on the animals and birds, including description, behaviour and life cycle, plus our own photos.

Read about Yorkshire wildlife.

Peacock butterfly Red admiralRed admiral

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