Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 8 June 2013 17:32
I can hardly believe it but I have the dead specimen sitting on my desk in front of me. I went to Graffham Common with Rachael today to show her the heathland restoration we have been doing there. In the wet heath area I was looking for Marsh Clubmoss, I spotted one plant but then about 10 cm away my eye was drawn to a dead butterfly stuck to a Round-leaved Sundew leaf. It was a small fritillary. At this time of year it had to be one of the good ones. A quick call to Michael Blencowe to check it wasn't a wind up and I realised it had to be Pearl-bordered Fritillary. What the heck?! Where on Earth has this come from? What a strange way to find it too! Sadly, it's hard to imagine another one turning up. There are no violets on site as far as I know and neither are there ever likely to be with the soil types present. It's just likely to be a freak occurrence. But still. Where did it come from?!
I was hoping to find a few invertebrates associated with bare ground, early colonisers of the new habitat we have created but this was something else! Only four months ago this was a conifer plantation with a tiny proportion of relict wet and dry heath. It's hard to imagine how this butterfly could have made it to the spot prior to the felling. A very exciting find. I hope the sundew appreciated the meal.
Other highlights today included the saproxylic hoverfly Microdon analis, the longhorn Pachytodes cerambyciformis (both new to the site) plus another Diaperis boleti.