Friday, December 2, 2022

White Admiral seen on One Tree Hill

THE dedication of Thurrock Council’s rangers at Langdon Hills Country Park has had spectacular results this summer.

Two species of butterfly – the white admiral (Ladoga Camilla) and the silver-washed fritillary (Argynnis Paphia) have returned to the area for the first time in many years.

Both woodland species have been found in Northlands Wood which is managed through coppicing (cutting trees down to ground level while leaving some standards).

Areas of the woodland are coppiced on a rotation basis allowing a varied structure in the woodland with mature trees and saplings and so increasing the biodiversity.

In the years following coppicing many plants which had laid dormant will come into flower again providing food for many butterfly species.

The white admiral is a black butterfly with white banding down its wings. It glides from the canopy to the floor where is gets salt and minerals from the moist earth.

The adult’s main food source is honeydew and brambles and the larval food plant is honeysuckle. The mixture of coppiced woodland with more mature and shaded areas where honeysuckle grow makes northlands ideal.

The silver washed fritillary likes thinned-out open woodland where common dog violet grows as this is the larval food plant. The adults feed from honeydew, bramble and thistles among other plants.

They are a large orange butterfly (pictured) which has a fast flight and can been seen flying between June and August.

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