Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Butterfly Conservation Sussex 2017 Christmas Quiz

Martin and I sent the first draft of the quiz to Neil Hulme, and after completing it he described the experience as “challenging and entertaining”. As so often is the case, I think he hit the nail on the head. We hope that you agree too.

Almost 150 people completed the quiz. No one got all of the answers right which suggests it was indeed challenging. 12 people managed to get over 90 questions right, whilst 20% got between 80 and 89 answers correct. Overall more than three quarters of people who completed the quiz scored more than 60%.

The "Purple Emperors" who scored 90 or above are:

Person Score
BG97
AD97
AG94
AD94
BE93
PE93
JA92
MJS91
KW91
BOB91
MC90
JB90

Well done to all of you, you really know your stuff! And thanks to Martin for coming up with all the questions.

Ed jnr

Explanation of answers by Martin Kalaher

As with many of my projects, the Christmas Quiz started life as one thing and then evolved into something completely different. When I wrote the article, “My Garden Blues”, I thought it might be interesting to tag on a quiz at the end. I was stuck indoors, clobbered by a common cold (generously gifted by one of my grandchildren) and since I had plenty of time on my hands I thought why not expand the idea to include my large stock of garden photographs and have a quiz on garden butterflies? Then I re-visited the BC website and had a fresh look at some of the wonderful photographs that appear on its pages and decided to have a quiz that included as many Sussex species that could be fitted in.

None of this would be possible without the herculean efforts of Ed Jnr. Thank you Jonathan.

Some of the photos have been chosen for they are exceptional images, and some have been chosen to make the quiz a little more difficult. Within Sussex BC there are many, very talented photographers and I do apologise if one of your photos has not been chosen.

I have written an explanation for each image and for each secondary question. Some of the explanations are succinct and some more expansive. If there is a disagreement I can always have another look and hopefully clarify things further.

Question 1
Answer: Brown Hairstreak Female
Explanation: There are a pair of parallel hairstreaks visible on the outer surface of the hindwing. The background colour of the upper surface is dark brown. These two features tell us it a Brown Hairstreak. The large orange patch on the forewing makes it a female. 
Question 2
Answer: Second-brood Large White Female
Explanation: First brood or second brood is not really relevant to this question as all three choices are second-brood. However, this butterfly is nectaring on Michaelmas Daisy (which comes into flower late summer/early autumn, so it must be a second-brood). Otherwise, although there is a tinge of green on the outer surface of the hindwing, there are no green veins. It is a bulky butterfly with a large head and large chest. This is saying to me Large White.

Although the wings are folded one can see the black at the apex of the forewing, which extends a long way down the rear and top edge. This makes it a female. 
Question 3
Answer: Large Skipper on Broad-leaved Sweet Pea
Explanation: All three meadow skippers breed in my garden but only rarely do they leave the wildflower meadow or the adjacent herbaceous beds. This unusual photograph shows a skipper nectaring on Broad-leaved Sweet Pea, which clambers all over the shrubs in one of the herbaceous beds next to the house. Since the first part of the question is tricky I wanted to compensate by inserting a relatively straightforward second question. As far as I am aware Little and Large Sweet Pea do not exist but just in case these names caused confusion I added the clue about Long-tailed Blues, which lay their eggs on Broad-leaved Sweet Pea (also known as Everlasting Pea).

The skipper itself started out life as a Small Skipper, changed ID to that of a large Skipper and then finally back to the beginning, for we are now satisfied that it is a Small Skipper. Apologies to everyone for the confusion.

It is a golden skipper but which one? There are three good clues: (1) Whilst the antennae tips are not in sharp focus it is apparent that they are mostly orange and therefore Essex Skipper can be ruled out for this latter species has tips that appear to be dipped in black ink. (2) The undersides of both hindwing and forewing are seen reasonably well and neither has the characteristic “irregular cobblestone pattern” of the Large Skipper. So, it isn’t a Large Skipper. (3) The third clue involves the underside of the forewing, towards the apex. There is a wide margin of non-patterned grey, inside of which is a uniform orange. This is generally better defined, more sharply demarcated in Small Skipper compared to Essex Skipper. Since we have already ruled out Essex Skipper it must be a Small Skipper. We got there in the end!  
Question 4
Answer: Female Common Blue and Birdsfoot Trefoil is the most commonly used larval food plant
Explanation: This female Common Blue has a substantial amount of blue on the body and inner wings with a brown surround. There is no chequered pattern to the white outer fringe which would be present if one were considering the alternatives of Adonis Blue and Chalkhill Blue.

Birdsfoot Trefoil is the principal larval food plant for Common Blues. Horseshoe Vetch for the other two. 
Question 5
Answer: Brimstone on Common Vetch
Explanation: It is unusual for Brimstone to nectar in my wildflower meadow. They tend to keep to the margins of the garden and generally avoid flying into more open space, where I imagine they are more vulnerable to bird predation.

The Vetch family is a bit of a minefield (which I don’t pretend to understand) but the intense purple of the flower head and the multiple paired leaflets are saying to me Common Vetch. The clincher is the little spike at the end of each leaflet, which does confirm that it is a Common Vetch (as other vetches do not have this little spike). The Nigra Spp has much narrower leaflets compared to the usual Common Vetch. The leaflets for both Slender Tare and Smooth Tare are a different shape – very long and very narrow – and are arranged in groups of just 4-6. 
Question 6
Answer: Small Skipper Male. The underside antennae at first look black, but an out of focus orange patch can be seen. More importantly, a sinuous, long sex-brand can be seen through the underside of the forewing.
Explanation: For the record I got this one wrong. It’s a long story, which I will tell another time. Anyway, Neil Hulme enjoyed this one (not because I got it wrong but because it is a real devil of a question!) and his comments were as follows: The underside antennae at first look black, but an out of focus orange patch can be seen. More importantly, a sinuous, long sex-brand can be seen through the underside of the forewing. Also, the sharp contact between orange and grey on the underside forewing says ‘Small’.

So, if you got this one wrong you are in good company. For the second part of the question and disregarding the sex brand clue mentioned above, if one looks at the upper surface of the hindwing the uniform bright golden-brown contrasts nicely with the outer fringe, which is saying to me male rather than female (which to my eyes tend to be a little darker and duskier without such sharply demarcated edges). 
Question 7
Answer: Holly Blue Male
Explanation: Scattered black dots on a silver-blue background. As the wings are not completely closed one can see the pale blue of the upper surface of the forewing and just a little bit of black at the apex. This makes it a male Holly Blue. 
Question 8
Answer: Second-brood Small White and the cabbage family is their usual larval food plant
Explanation: Second-brood is not really relevant but as this butterfly is nectaring on Verbena Bonariensis it must be a second brood as this plant doesn’t flower until late summer/autumn.

There are no green veins, so it cannot be a Green-veined White. Small Whites are a lot more delicate compared to Large Whites with noticeably smaller heads and smaller chests.

In my garden Small Whites mostly lay their eggs on Dames Violet. They are more than happy to lay their eggs on many of the cabbage family both cultivated and wild. Wild Geraniums brings Brown Argus to mind and as far as I am aware no British butterfly species lay eggs on Docks. 
Question 9
Answer: Green Hairstreak on Birdsfoot Trefoil
Explanation: There is a single rather faint hairstreak and it is green, so Green Hairstreak it must be. It both nectars and lays eggs on Birdsfoot Trefoil. Several, quite large flower heads in a clump is typical of this plant species. 
Question 10
Answer: Dingy Skipper and Horseshoe Vetch is the most likely larval foodplant
Explanation: I think the butterfly ID is straightforward enough, for it is a Dingy Skipper. Whilst Mother Shipton is a moth, it could be mistaken for one of our downland skippers.

Several of our chalk-grassland butterflies lay their eggs on Horseshoe Vetch – Adonis Blue, Chalkhill blue and Dingy Skipper. Brown Argus uses Common Rock-rose and Devilsbit Scabious is thrown in to confuse as it a common flower on chalk grassland but not a larval food plant. 
Question 11
Answer: Dark Green Fritillary and Hairy Violet is the usual larval food plant
Explanation: This male Dark Green Fritillary stopped off briefly to nectar in my garden. With all that green on the outer surface of the hindwing, I think the ID ought to be straightforward.

In Sussex, our largest colonies may be found on chalk grassland and Hairy Violet is the principal larval food plant. 
Question 12
Answer: Brown Argus Male
Explanation: Uniform dark-chocolate brown background colour with bright orange lunules on the margins of both hindwings and forewings makes this is a Brown Argus. With a long, narrow abdomen this has to be a male. A female Brown Argus has six well-demarcated orange lunules on the forewing, whilst the male usually has four well-developed lunules but with fading of the 5th and 6th near the apex of the forewing. So, this one is slightly unusual, in that all six lunules on the forewing are well shown. However, the shape and the length of the abdomen says it is a male (in the female the abdomen is shorter and more rounded, and the tip is very pointed). 
Question 13
Answer: Small Skipper Female
Explanation: For the record I got this one wrong; the second one, so far! For anyone wading through these explanations you might well have decided that by now I am not fit to be a quiz master! I guess that provided I learn from my mistakes that’s the main thing. Neil writes: This is a Small Skipper. The dusky and diffuse delimiting margins of the upper and side edges of the antennae are much better for Small Skipper – the side view should show a clear, vertical/sub-vertical edge to a jet black under in Essex. The clincher is the sharp contrast between orange and grey at the apex of the forewing underside.

The very distended abdomen (full of eggs) makes this a female. 
Question 14
Answer: Small Heath and Devilsbit Scabious
Explanation: I have rarely seen Small Heath nectaring, never mind three feet off the ground! When seen from the side the three common browns, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Small Heath are fairly similar. The flower head of Devilsbit Scabious is very distinctive and reminds me of a Second-World War sea mine! (That, I’m afraid, shows my age!).  
Question 15
Answer: Marbled White and fungal toxins of Red Fescue protects both chrysalis and adult from bird predation
Explanation: Worrying a little bit that some of the photos are a bit tricky I thought I would throw this one in of a Marbled White nectaring in my meadow. Then the “devil” got to me and I added a more difficult second question about protective toxins. There is an interesting point to it (other than knowledge, for knowledge sake) as I had a daily count of 10 Marbled Whites in my small garden meadow this year (which measures just 17 metres x 14 metres) whilst the neighbouring meadow next to the garden, which is around two acres, had just one or two. I have lots of Red Fescue in my meadow, whereas in the adjacent field (where coarse grasses dominate) there is little or maybe even none? My speculative point being is that this species can detect Red Fescue and accordingly chooses those meadows where it is present. I digress from the quiz, but it’s an observation/speculation that I find interesting.  
Question 16
Answer: Chalkhill Blue and Horseshoe Vetch is its larval food plant
Explanation: The one and only time a male Chalkhill Blue visits the garden and it chooses a windy day (how frustrating is that?), and so the focus is not as sharp as I would have liked. The chequered fringe removes Common Blue from the fray and since the wings are very slightly open one can see a pale blue upper surface with a dusky surround. Horseshoe Vetch is the larval food plant for both Chalkhill Blue and Adonis Blue. As far as I am aware, none of the blues lay their eggs on Common Vetch.  
Question 17
Answer: Essex Skipper Male
Explanation: This is a male Essex Skipper with a short, straight sex-brand that runs parallel to the black line immediately above it (and parallel to the upper margin of the forewing). Small Skipper has a much longer, wiggly sex brand which runs across (not parallel) to the black lines. The antennae tips are black, but one needs a view from below and beneath the butterfly for this to be of help in ID.  
Question 18
Answer: Painted Lady and the first generation migrates annually from North Africa and Arabia
Explanation: I think Painted Lady should be straightforward, but the second question is a little trickier. My understanding is that first generation Painted Ladies emerge in North Africa and Arabia around January-time, with some staying put, and some migrating towards Europe shortly after emergence. It may well be that some first-generation butterflies do originate from the Iberian Peninsula and the Greek Islands but hopefully the gist of the question is understood – the bulk of these long-distant migrants come from further afield.  
Question 19
Answer: Orange-tip and Garlic Mustard is commonly used as a larval food plant
Explanation: There are no green veins and since this is a Sussex quiz I don’t think we need to think about Bath White for too long. This is an Orange-tip and Garlic Mustard is commonly used as a larval food plant. As far as I am aware the other plants are not used at all by this species.  
Question 20
Answer: Small skipper and Greater Knapweed
Explanation: The forewings are translucent and are a uniform golden brown with no dark areas or pattern, so I think we can rule out Large Skipper. The club-shaped antennae tips would do well for both Small Skipper and Essex Skipper but since they are orange this must be a Small Skipper.

Round-headed Rampion is a chalk specialist and as for the diminutive Sheepsbit I have yet to see a native plant in Sussex (I am familiar with the species for I planted some in my garden meadow but after a few years they all disappeared). Neither Round-headed Rampion nor Sheepsbit could be labelled common but Greater Knapweed is a common Meadow plant and reminds me of an exotic coral plant with fronds waving around in all directions (my italics). Oh, just live a little!  
Question 21
Answer: Brown Hairstreak Male
Explanation: A brown butterfly with parallel hairstreaks on the under surface of the hindwing this has to be a Brown Hairstreak. The very small orange patch on the upper surface of the forewing makes it a male.  
Question 22
Answer: Speckled Wood male
Explanation: An unusual photograph of a male Speckled Wood nectaring on a Berberis. Neil adds - This is a male Speckled Wood, based on dark colouration, relatively small pale markings and androconial crease.  
Question 23
Answer: Brown Argus Female
Explanation: With closed wings the females for all three butterfly species have brown as a background colour but the dark brown for this individual would lean me towards Brown Argus. Checking the white outer fringe there are bold black lines across the fringe, which effectively rules out Common Blue. On the inner half of the forewing there are no black dots and halfway along the upper margin of the hindwing there is the tell-tale sign of the “colon” which says this is a Brown Argus. The male of this species does not have the bold black lines running across the outer white fringe, so this is a female.  
Question 24
Answer: Meadow Brown Female
Explanation: One of our commonest butterflies, a Meadow Brown. The large orange patch on the forewing tells us it is a female.  
Question 25
Answer: Gatekeeper and the principal larval food is a variety of meadow grass
Explanation: Ringlet has a fairly uniform dark brown background with lots of “rings”, so it can be ruled out. When we only have a photograph to look at, and only a side-ways view, then Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown can look fairly similar. In “the field” it is a lot easier to differentiate between these two. This is a Gatekeeper. This species used to be named Hedge Brown, which is not a bad name as this is where we find them. They lay their eggs at the base of shrubs or as an alternative the eggs are simply ejected into the air. Professor Thomas informs us that there is reasonable evidence to suggest that a wide range of grass species are eaten by the caterpillars, to include Common Couch, various bents, fescues and meadow-grasses.  
Question 26
Answer: Ringlet and Cocksfoot is one of its favourite larval food plants
Explanation: I think this one has to be a Ringlet, with Cocksfoot as one of its favourite food plants. Coarse grass species such as Cocksfoot and False Broom are generally used by Ringlet but only where these coarse grasses grow as lush, uncropped tussocks. I am not aware of any British butterfly species using Bracken as a larval food plant. Sheep’s Fescue is used by one of the brown butterflies – one of our county rarities, the Grayling.  
Question 27
Answer: Small Heath found on Chalk grassland
Explanation: Small Heath and Gatekeeper are fairly similar when seen as a side-ways view but the latter (amongst other things) has a row of white dots on the rear half of the hindwing. Small Heath are generally found where the sward is short, and chalk grassland is ideal. I have counted 500-800 in a single day on my local butterfly haven, Chantry Hill.  
Question 28
Answer: Queen of Spain Fritillary and wild Pansies are the larval food plant
Explanation: This stunning photo of a Queen of Spain Fritillary was on the website, so I had to include it (there were many other superb photos of this species, but I couldn’t include them all!). There is a bit of trickery in the second answer for this species does use violets in southern Europe but in northern Europe the larval food plants are Field Pansy and Wild Pansy. Since neither pansy is very common in Sussex (as the use of herbicides is too extensive) this beautiful fritillary is unlikely to colonise this county, very readily.  
Question 29
Answer: Comma and Nettle is the preferred larval food plant in Sussex
Explanation: This Oak-leaf look-a-like has to be a Comma and Common Nettle is the usual larval food plant in Sussex (in the absence of Hop, which is not especially common in this county).  
Question 30
Answer: Red Admiral, one of five species that over-winters as an adult
Explanation: I think Comma can be safely discarded but with just a sideways view there are some superficial similarities between Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. However (amongst other things) there is an extensive patch of blue-white towards the apex of the forewing and as the wings are not firmly closed together a small patch of scarlet red that can be seen at 7 O’clock. The five British butterfly species that over-winter as adults are Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone and Peacock.  
Question 31
Answer: Large Tortoiseshell. Wych Elm is typically used as a larval food plant
Explanation: This beautiful Large Tortoiseshell was one of three (or more?) found at North Stoke this year. I won’t attempt to differentiate between this species and Scarce Tortoiseshell (none of this latter species were recorded in Sussex in 2017). There must a 100 or more Wych Elm at North Stoke and I guess that was why they were there?  
Question 32
Answer: Grizzled Skipper and Wild Strawberry is its favourite larval food plant on many Sussex sites
Explanation: This is a typical posture for a roosting Grizzled Skipper (note the way the antennae have drooped down). Since most of us look for butterflies when it warm and sunny and not at dusk, I guess many butterfly enthusiasts have not have seen a Grizzled Skipper perched like this? (including myself).

Wild Strawberry is the usual larval food plant. Cowslip is the chalk grassland favourite of Duke of Burgundy and as for fine-stemmed grass species (I’m really thinking of Sheep’s Fescue), this is used by Silver-spotted Skipper.  
Question 33
Answer: Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Common Dog-violet is the usual larval food plant in Sussex
Explanation: We really do have some wonderful photographs on the website! This is a Pearl-bordered Fritillary and typically Common Dog-violet is used as a larval food plant. For someone like myself who has no specialist knowledge of Fritillaries I find it best to scrutinise the hindwing when the wings are closed. All three fritillaries named have a row of pearls on the rear of the hindwing, but it is only the Pearl-bordered Fritillary that is otherwise limited to just two more “oval pearls” in the hindwing, with the other two having many more pearls.  
Question 34
Answer: Duke of Burgundy. Woodland colonies are most likely to use Primrose as the larval food plant?
Explanation: It is no wonder that this was once called the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary for it certainly looks like a fritillary species. The extensive white markings on the hindwing reminds me of Small-Pearled Fritillary but amongst other things the black and white fringe of the forewings is telling me it is a Duke.

This species lays its eggs on Primulas; so mostly Cowslip on downland and mostly Primrose in woodland.  
Question 35
Answer: Peacock and the larval food plant is Common Nettle
Explanation: The quality of its camouflage is so good that if this butterfly were perched on the dark bark of a tree one would do well to spot it. This is a Peacock and its larval food plant is Common Nettle. Although most of us probably don’t like stinging nettles very much it is hugely important for our native butterflies, as the larval food plant for Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma.  
Question 36
Answer: Female Adonis and Blue Horseshoe Vetch is its larval food plant
Explanation: This is an interesting photo for the chequered white fringe doesn’t help us much as all three species possess this feature (some might argue black lines for Brown Argus, rather than the word chequered). Female Brown Argus have a row of six well-defined orange lunules on the margin of the forewing, whereas this butterfly has a couple of orange smudges, so we can forget Brown Argus. The blue scales on the upper surface of the hindwing is the clincher, which says female Adonis Blue and not female Chalkhill Blue. . Brown Argus uses Common Rock-rose on downland, whilst the sole food plant for both Chalkhill Blue and Adonis blue is Horseshoe Vetch.  
Question 37
Answer: Wood White and its larval food plant is a variety of Vetches and Trefoils
Explanation: I think on wing-shape alone one could identify this white butterfly. Additional help comes from the dusky patches of grey on the hindwing and the front-half of the upper margin of the forewing, and is saying Wood White. Their eggs are laid on a variety of Vetches and Trefoils.  
Question 38
Answer: Small Blue and Kidney Vetch is its larval food plant
Explanation: This beautiful little butterfly has a background of charcoal-grey and this particular individual has an extensive scattering of blue on the upper surface. It has a very white outer fringe. This is a male Small Blue and the sole food plant for this species is Kidney Vetch.  
Question 39
Answer: Silver-studded Blue. In Sussex the usual larval food plant is Heather
Explanation: Coming across this tiny blue butterfly whilst wandering across a heath it would be difficult to confuse it with any other British blue. As is often the case, having only a single photograph to look at makes it a whole lot trickier. However, the pure white fringe and the row of well-demarcated orange lunules on the margins of both wings says Silver-studded Blue. This is a male, for the background colour of the female is more light brown than blue. In Sussex this species uses heathers as its larval food plant (and at Iping/Stedham Commons it is Bell Heather that is used).  
Question 40
Answer: White-letter Hairstreak and in Sussex are you most likely to find one in a Brighton park
Explanation: The very prominent white hairstreak on the outer surface of both forewing and hindwing is a bit of a give-away. The margin of orange-red on the hindwing completes the picture for this is a White-letter Hairstreak. Although some Common Elm can be found in many parts of Sussex it was Brighton that managed to avoid the worst excesses of Dutch Elm disease and therefore the place to go and find these hairstreaks are the open spaces of Brighton, in other words “in a park, in a big town”.  
Question 41
Answer: Silver-washed Fritillary and you are most likely to see this butterfly in July
Explanation: I think the answer is fairly straightforward as the markings are faded or “washed”, on the under surface of the hindwing. Both Dark Green Fritillary and Pearl-bordered Fritillary have a very bold pattern on the underwing. Therefore, this is a Silver-washed Fritillary and although this species emerges in June, its peak activity occurs in the following month, so July is the correct answer.  
Question 42
Answer: Purple Emperor and its preferred larval food plant is Goat Willow
Explanation: Other than White admiral I’m not sure that Purple Emperor can be readily confused with any other British butterfly species. It lays its eggs on Goat Willow, Grey Willow and an assortment of hybrids. Tea-leaved Willow and Whortle-leaved Willow do exist, for they are shrubs found north of the border, in Scotland.  
Question 43
Answer: Purple Hairstreak Female
Explanation: If one is lucky enough to have a close view of a Purple Hairstreak it is easy to identify as it is the only British hairstreak to have an eye-spot on the underside, next to the short tail. This eye-spot is found in both sexes. It is also the only hairstreak to have blue or purple on the upperwings. In the female this purple on the upper surface is much reduced to a central core, which is surrounded by a dark brown.  
Question 44
Answer: White Admiral and its larval food plant is Honeysuckle
Explanation: With a bit of wishful thinking one might confuse White Admiral in flight with the much larger Purple Emperor, but when perched, the solid white band across both wings is unmistakable. Honeysuckle is the sole larval food plant.  
Question 45
Answer: Chalkhill Blue Male
Explanation: This is such a lovely photograph that I had to include it even if it meant having two of the same in this year’s quiz. The chequered white fringe removes Common Blue from the frame. Looking at the background colour, overall, it is a very pale milky-blue (although the rear half of the hindwing is a very pale tan-brown). The exceptional pallor of this background colour is saying to me male Chalkhill Blue. The background colour for the whole of the under surface of both male and female Adonis blue is a much darker brown.  
Question 46
Answer: Silver-spotted Skipper and its larval food plant is Sheep's Fescue
Explanation: This is a very straightforward Silver-spotted Skipper, which lays its eggs on Sheep’s Fescue.  
Question 47
Answer: Clouded Yellow and the cross-channel migration usually begins in May or June
Explanation: This is a yellow butterfly, so I think we can remove Large White from the reckoning. The shape is all wrong for Brimstone, but both of these yellow butterflies have one thing in common in that they are good at hiding within yellow shrubbery/yellow leaves. This is a Clouded Yellow and although we see more than 90% of these butterflies in very late summer/autumn the first wave of migrants fly across from continental Europe in May/June.  
Question 48
Answer: Grayling. On chalk, Sheep’s fescue is generally preferred as the larval food plant
Explanation: I presume this photograph was taken shortly after this Grayling had landed, for in full camouflage-mode the eye-spot is usually well hidden. With no eye-spot to see then I could have added Wall Brown into the mix (to possibly confuse things) but as it stands it has to be a male Grayling. It is interesting that such a large butterfly chooses such a small grass species on which to lay its eggs, but maybe not, for although Sheep’s Fescue is a very short thin-bladed grass, what it lacks in height it makes up in having a very large number of tender grass shoots in any given area.  
Question 49
Answer: Long-tailed Blue Female
Explanation: I wanted to include most of the butterfly species recorded in Sussex in 2017, therefore I had to include this Long-tailed Blue, and just to make it a bit more difficult I chose a female (as the females are not very blue). In this individual, the thorax and abdomen are blue, as are the basal areas of all four wings - and there are blue scales spreading out into the forewings. So, this is a female.  
Question 50
Answer: The Camberwell Beauty has flown from the Norway/Baltic area
Explanation: This butterfly has travelled a long way to reach these shores and I could also mention that it has been an interesting journey for myself and Ed Jnr, who has done all the clever stuff as regards the computer programming (sorry Ed Jnr, I know you like to keep in the background, but I insist this sentence stays in!). I have never seen a Camberwell Beauty in Britain, but I have seen many “Mourning Cloak” in Canada. They are very easy to identify (even in flight) but are a frustrating species for most of us, as they tend to pause in random gardens (that do not belong to members of Sussex BC!). I wonder quite how many pass through the county without being identified?  

Believe it or not, I did know the answers to all the questions I set (accept for the three IDs I got wrong – two Skippers and the Speckled Wood, which I thought was a female), and Neil put me straight on these three errors (thanks Neil). I hate getting things wrong, but I look on the bright side and try and stick these things in the “memory bank” and hopefully learn from it all. What more can we ask?

I hope you have enjoyed the quiz. It has been a lot of fun for Ed Jnr and myself, and if you have enjoyed the quiz then please contact Ed Jnr and say so, for then we will probably repeat it again, next year.

Martin Kalaher, December 2017

Picture credits
John Williams (28,32,37), Paul Atkin (31), David Cook (33,36,43), Mark Cadey (34), Vince Massimo (35), Jamie Burston (38), Katrina Watson (39), Barry Sketchley (40,41), Patrick Moore (42, 48), Gareth Hughes (44), Bob Eade (46), Tim Squire (47), Gary Faulkner (49), Gemma from Burgess Hill (50). All other pictures by Martin Kalaher.

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