Monday, 4 May 2015

Portsdown Hill - ramblings from the usual compartments

An afternoon wander around the old transect route in Portsdown Hill compartments 1 & 2 this afternoon produced, Comp 1: orange tip (4), peacock (3), holly blue (2), brimstone (5) and a single green-veined white; Comp 2: small white (1), brimstone (6), orange tip (2), peacock (2), comma (1), speckled wood (3).

In Comp 2 I also found a lesser treble bar moth and a fox moth caterpillar. I based my ID of the lesser treble bar -as opposed to the treble bar - on the noticeable kink in the bar on the forewing towards the edge of the wing (as per: Newland, Still & Swash 2013). I have since been advised that this feature is highly subjective in the field, and that in males at least the shape of the abdomen is the key ID feat (Mike Wall, Hants BC pers comm.).

The pond in the chalk pit had at least 14 newts, which I presume were all smooth newts, based on the couple I managed to ID from the photos. I also found a single juvenile slow worm on the path up the western slope, sadly the specimen was dead when I found it.

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