Latest sightings

Adder or Common European Viper, a snake with black, zig zag markings

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Venomous Adder, Common European Viper, Vipera berus A visit to the dramatic sea cliffs of Porthgwarra, one of Cornwall’s best seawatching and bird migration places, produced a real mix of wildlife. Out at sea hundreds of Manx Shearwaters and Auks … Read More

Early Summer Butterflies – Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma.

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Appropriately for the official first day of Summer several butterflies were sighted in the garden in Falmouth, Cornwall. Pairs of Peacock Butterflies and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies were in the mood for courting. A single Comma Butterfly tried to join in … Read More

First Spring Butterflies

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First butterflies of Spring At last, real signs of Spring! For many of us it’s the first butterflies that mean Spring is really here. At the weekend Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies and Peacock Butterflies were seen both at Porthoustock on the … Read More

Uncommon Cornish winter gulls – Glaucous, Iceland and Kulmien’s

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Several Iceland Gulls and Glaucous Gulls have been recorded around the coast of south west Cornwall this winter. Some of the fishing ports have had long stayers attracted by the unloading fishing boats. One of the best places to see … Read More

Winter butterflies in Cornwall

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A late migrant Painted Lady butterfly was seen nectaring on Red Valerium at Porthallow on the Lizard, Cornwall on the 17th November. Peacock and Red Admiral butterflies were also seen basking in winter sunshine. The nearby sheltered beach of Porthoustock … Read More

Western Conifer Seed Bug – Leptoglossus occidentalis

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The recent southerly winds off the continent brought an unusual insect to the garden. A Western Conifer Seed Bug was found on a wall close to a light trap set to attract migratory moths. A recent UK colonist it may … Read More

Huge migrant Hawkmoth caterpillars

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Recent moth, butterfly and caterpillar sightings have included several Death’s Head Hawkmoth caterpillars. Two have been from the Isle of Wight. Violet Mareck found one munching leaves on her Olive Tree. While Sharon Pagnell recorded a yellow form on a … Read More

Commonly sighted garden catepillars

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The 1000th identification enquiry of the year arrived at the weekend. Appropriately it was the Vapourer moth caterpillar, Orgyia antigua. A species that for the last 8 years has featured in the top three most frequently enquired about species An … Read More

Dark Green Fritillary Butterfly

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Weather continues very hot here in Cornwall. On the coast cooling winds are always welcome. At Trevose Headland on the North Atlantic coast several Dark Green Fritillary Butterflies, Argynnis aglaja, were active along the headland. As were several Hummingbird Hawkmoths. … Read More

Gypsy Moth caterpillars, Lymantria dispar

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Many sightings of Gypsy Moth caterpillars have been received in the last few weeks. In the UK most sightings have been from gardens in London and the south east. Isabella Read sent in the photo shown of a Gypsy moth … Read More

California plague of caterpillars

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Thousands of large caterpillars everywhere! In the Twentynine Palms region of the US state of California huge numbers of caterpillars appeared last month in residential areas, on roads, fences and open ground. These were the caterpillars of the White-lined Sphinx, … Read More

Caterpillars and moths of Zambia

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Amongst the increasing number of moths, butterflies and caterpillar sightings being received from the African continent have been some fascinating records from Zambia. This amazing caterpillar, Pachymeta robusta, also known as the Msasa worm, is one of many sightings received … Read More

Caterpillars on winter vegetables

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The weather may have turned unsettled in south west Cornwall but overwintering Red Admiral butterflies and caterpillars seem to be surviving The occasional Red Admiral butterfly in flight and their caterpillars are now recorded in every month. However, Large White … Read More

Caterpillars on lichen

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Caterpillars on Lichen Some lichen feeding caterpillars are so cryptically well marked that searching for them just by staring moronically for hour upon hour into a hedge is a thankless task. Tell me about it! Thankfully, there is an easier … Read More

Lost Comrades – a sculpture of a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary egg by Glenn Morris

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Early last year I received a request for a photograph of a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly egg. Nothing unusual there, except this enquiry hadn’t come from either a conservation body, the editor of a natural history publication or an educational … Read More

Migrant moths to Cornwall in the British Isles

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The very mild weather continued here in southwest Cornwall well into late Autumn and early winter. This provided the ideal opportunity to attract more migrant moths to light with the hope of them laying eggs which could then be reared … Read More

Migrant Hawkmoth caterpillars

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Since the last report more sightings of giant Death’s-head Hawkmoth caterpillars have been received. In south east Cornwall Wendy Zealey recorded the one shown above left on the edge of woodland and Susan Knowles found the beauty shown above right … Read More

Blue caterpillar

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‘Striking blue caterpillar seen this morning’ If ever a reminder was needed that nature has the potential to surprise then this emailed caterpillar photo from Elizabeth Deas provided it! Different coloured forms of caterpillar are common amongst many broods of … Read More

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