Westbury Wildlife

News and information about wildlife in and around the parish.

Butterfly of the Week 8th April 2020

Can you recognise the different white butterflies?

The adults of Large and Small Whites are pests of our domestic Brassicas.  The large white caterpillars are black and yellow and easily visible and very destructive.  They are protected from predation by birds by the warning colours and a nasty taste.  The small white caterpillars are green and lie along the veins and are very inconspicuous.  The third of this trio the Green-veined White is not a pest of our vegetable patch cabbages but lays its eggs on a variety of wild Brassicas like garlic mustard.  See if you can sort out which is which?

Butterfly of the Week 1st April 2020


Peacock:  The adults that are seen in this week went into hibernation last August/September/October in our garages, woodsheds, log piles. Last autumn they fed avidly on the nectar of flowers like Buddleia and Michaelmas daisy to build up the fat stores they need to see them through to the spring. They can be seen on the wing at anytime through the winter if there is a warm spell after which they return to hibernation. They come out of hibernation at the end of March or beginning of April. The males currently are seeking out suitable territories perhaps near suitable large clumps of nettle that are sheltered but in full sunshine that are favoured egg laying sites. Passing females are pursued and mated with.   Eggs will be laid from late April through into May.

Peter Bright photo