Monday, 2 September 2013

Alderney Butterflies

Alderney train and lighthouse.
I've just come back from holidaying on the Channel Island of Alderney. It's an island that hasn't suffered from excessive use of insecticides, and therefore it was alive with insects - bees and butterflies being especially abundant. Of course, I had to take some photographs, and here they are, in the form of a quiz. Get your Butterfly Guides out and see if you can identify all five...

Rusty old crane/train - puts my non-league rusty rollers to shame.
Butterfly number 1 was abundant all over the island, mostly in meadows. This is the female of the species. This is possibly a local colour variation:

Alderney butterfly 1.
Number 2 is a species I've never knowingly seen on the British mainland. It rests with its wings shut. When it flies, it is a glorious orangey-yellow with black markings:

Alderney butterfly 2.
Number 3 was possibly the most widespread of all the species on the island. It turned up just about everywhere:

Alderney butterfly 3.
Number 4 was another common species. It particularly liked the brambly and ferny areas, of which there are many on Alderney:

Alderney butterfly 4.
Number 5 is another of the brown species. When I heard that there were Glanville Fritillaries on the island, I became especially excited when I saw these - until I noticed the black spots on the upper wings:

Alderney butterfly 5.
That's enough butterflies. I'll post the answers in the comments in a week or two.

Alderney's football ground.


  1. Lovely photos! Tough quiz! *consults Collins Gem Butterfly guide*

    1. Common blue
    2. Pale clouded yellow
    3. A female gatekeeper
    4. Meadow brown
    5. Wall brown

  2. Hello there! I'm going to award you an extra-large shiny for these superb answers! All correct, with the exception of number two, which was a Clouded Yellow, but the two species are virtually identical with their wings shut - you'd have only known for sure if you'd seen it fly (which I did - beautiful creature it was too).