British Butterflies ID
Following the publication of the Damselfly and Dragonfly identification DVDs, my attention was turned to our Butterflies.
I have made a short film about each of our breeding species – life cycles are described and comparisons made with similar species. The films have been put together to create a double disc DVD. A Blu-ray version is available too – much better for detail on the large screen TVs we all have now. The overall running time is about 3hrs 28mins. As with the Dragonfly DVDs, I hope this will useful to beginners and experienced enthusiasts alike.
Click on the video links below to get a preview of four of the species.
Which species are included
All our breeding species are represented except the Cryptic Wood White found in Ireland. Apart from the genitalia and habitat requirements this is identical to the Wood White. The butterflies are arranged in family groups with the Swallowtail attached to the Whites and the Small Copper attached to the Blues for convenience. Nymphalidae are split into three groups. The Duke of Burgundy is included with the Fritillaries for identification purposes (from it’s appearance, it was once thought to be a Fritillary).
The list is as follows with my groupings followed by the family name:
Skippers – Hesperiidae Chequered Skipper Small Skipper Essex Skipper Lulworth Skipper Silver-spotted Skipper Large Skipper Grizzled Skipper Dingy Skipper
Swallowtails and Whites – Papilionidae & Pieridae Swallowtail Wood White Clouded Yellow Brimstone Large White Small White Green-veined White Orange-tip
Hairstreaks – Lycaenidae (part) Green Hairstreak Brown Hairstreak Purple Hairstreak White-letter Hairstreak Black Hairstreak
Coppers and Blues – Lycaenidae (part) Small Copper Small Blue Silver-studded Blue Brown Argus Northern Brown Argus Common Blue Chalkhill Blue Adonis Blue Holly Blue Large Blue
The split is here on the DVD version
Admirals and Emperors – Nymphalidae (part) White Admiral Purple Emperor Red Admiral Painted Lady Small Tortoiseshell Peacock Comma
Metalmarks and Fritillaries – Riodinidae & Nymphalidae Duke of Burgundy Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Pearl-bordered Fritillary High Brown Fritillary Dark Green Fritillary Silver-washed Fritillary Marsh Fritillary Glanville Fritillary Heath Fritillary
Browns – Nymphalidae (part) Speckled Wood Wall Mountain Ringlet Scotch Argus Marbled White Grayling Gatekeeper Meadow Brown Ringlet Small Heath Large Heath
The DVD version was reviewed by Peter Eeles of UK Butterflies in March 2021. To read the review please click on this link: British Butterflies ID Review
The Blu-ray version was reviewed by Scott J Barron in Atropos number 69 (2021) and I include some quotes from the review:
“The close-up video quality is excellent. The narrative is clear and informative, concisely describing appearance, key features, differences between the sexes (often shown side by side), nectar providing foodplants, behaviour, status, habitat and causes for population fluctuations. Coverage of similar species is comprehensive with the species displayed side by on screen.”
“The accounts do not just contain perfect freshly emerged individuals which we all hope to see, but worn, elderly and battle-hardened individuals are featured throughout the videos, showing key features that can aid identification of a butterfly that ‘may not look right’ in the field.”
“I was very impressed with the quality of this film and there was certainly something special about having the ‘live’ specimen active in my living room on the TV screen. I would certainly recommend this product.”
“Just as I finish writing this and switch the Blu-ray player off my five year old daughter shouts at me “again, again!””