Wildlife Wednesday: Butterfly bounty

A local walk and a sunny day and the hedgerows were full of Hedera helix (Ivy) in full flower. They are visited by late-season butterflies, hover flies, other types of flies, wasps, bumble bees, and the ivy bee (a bee that specialises on ivy).

a comma butterfly feeding on ivy flowers alongside a marmalade hoverfly, a Heineken fly, a honey bee and out of view a wasp or two as well as other flies
Comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album) declining to close its wing and reveal the white C mark on the underwings from which it gets it name
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) – my favourite of our UK butterflies enjoying Ivy nectar which is high quality, with a lot of sugar (49 per cent).
Ivy flowers provide both pollen and nectar and only bloom on mature ivy, which has oval leaves and not the well-known hand-shaped leaves of immature ivy.

Seeing these butterflies feeding and the camera lens almost catching the straw-like proboscis detail, I am reminded of the Spanish film – La lengua de las mariposas (Butterfly tongues). Highly recommended!

For Entomologists:
Butterfly Conservation: Comma; Red Admiral;
They are not all the same – see On the tip of the butterfly’s tongue
For Film Buffs
Butterfly tongues
For Ivyphobes
Does Ivy kill trees?

3 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday: Butterfly bounty

  1. A Heineken fly – did you make that up!? 😀 I was looking for a beer can in your pics from which a fly is drinking…

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