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13

AN APOLLO BUTTERFLY.

AN

APOLLO B U T T E R F L Y ON SUFFOLK COAST. B Y THE

THE

PRESIDENT.

MY friend, Mrs. Webb, the sister of our Framlingham member, Mr. Carley, captured a specimen of the Crimson-ringed Butterfly (Parnassßis Apollo, Linn.) upon the coast at Thorpe by Aldeburgh on lOth September, 1928 ; it was actually in her net, where she was able to obtain a good view of it, but unfortunately it escaped beyond recapture. I advisedly use the word " unfortunately " in every sense, for the insect is lost to Science and would certainly not survive or breed in our County. That no error of identification intervenes is proved by the fact that Mrs. Webb at once picked the species out, as that which she had taken, from a plate of many figures of various butterflies. No previous Suffolk record exists. Parnassius Apollo is common in the alpine regions of Europe, mainly in Scandinavia but also occurs in the Alps, though at an altitude rarely below two thousand feet. Its British history is interesting ; but its right to be regarded as indigenous with us has long ago been finally negatived. The earliest Catalogues* make no mention of i t ; in fact, Papilio Apollo is distinctly asserted in 1806 by Dr. George Shaw (Insects, vi., p. 210, flg. 67) to have " not yet been observed in our country." Nor do Samouelle in 1819 or Miss Jermyn's 1827 Butterfly Collector's Vade Mecum acknowledge it. But Dorilis Apollo, " The Crimson-ringed Butterfly," is entered as doubtfully British by the latter (pp. 80 and 163) and in a note of Stephens' 1829 Catalogue, Syn. p. 6. It was first recorded here as " found in Scotland, but 1 have not seen a British specimen " by Haworth in 1804 (Lep. Brit. xxix. ; cf. Tr. Entom. Soc. i., 232). Next about 1812 one had been captured in the Island of Lewis, though perhaps brought there on shipboard from Norway ; but a specimen was seen Aying at the foot of Ben Lawers by John Curtis about 1820, and again in Lewis, or Harris, it was asserted to have been taken about 1830. Consequently Westwood accords the species a definite position as British in 1840 (Introd. Entom, Syn. 87). Undoubtedly one was captured on the wing in Cornwall by Sir C. Lemon, though probably it had been imported with hothouse plants. Finally, during August-September, 1847-8 * Perhaps the very first is " A Catalogue of British Insects, B v J o h n Remhold Forster, F.A.S. : Warrington, printed by William "Eyres. MDCCLXX." The author " was one of the naturalists who accompanied Captain Cookinhis voyage round the world " (Leach, Encycl. Brit. 1819, art. Entom. p. 158).—C. H. S. V.


14

SHORE

BIRDS.

another specimen was undeniably taken Aying on the Downs at Dover (Zool. 1856, p. 5001) and yet another seen about 1850 at Hanwell (I.e., p. 5109). Humphreys (pl. vii., fig. i.) and Westwood (1855, p. 133) reject the species' record from the Hebrides as erroneous, though not the later assertion by Duncan that it had been seen on the west coast of Scotland. Coleman, who places it among his " reputed British " kinds though making reference to no previous occurrences, in 1888 had " good reason for believing that a specimen of the splendid Alpine Apollo was captured in this country lately, and it may some day be found on our north mountains." Our modern authors, South and Frohawk, etc., altogether omit the species ; it certainly does not breed with us, but its mere occurrence is of considerable interest, no matter how accidental this may be.

SUFFOLK BY

CHESTER i.

SHORE G.

BIRDS.

DOUGHTY,

A L I V E AND

B.A.

DEAD.

THE Suffolk sea-shore, consisting as it does of long stretches of shingle and elsewhere of equally long stretches of highly mobile sand, appears uncongenial to wading birds ; hence, on the Gorleston beach which is sandy, the only bird one can expect to find, and that only during the winter months, is the extremely nimble and generally tame Sanderling (Calidris arenaria, Linn.). This may be seen singly, or in small flocks up to seven in number, or occasionally in flocks that run up to double figures. Oyster-catchers (Hcematopus ostralegus, Linn. ; locally called the Olive and the Mere-pie in our County) are very rarely seen ; but they were exceptionally numerous in the cold weather during February of this year, when several Turnstones (Sirepsilas iuterpres, Linn.) also frequented the beach where I have never noticed the species before. On 31st August, 1916, a beautiful Oyster-catcher was feeding right at the bottom of the cliff, far from the tide-line : a vast number of the large Weevil-beetle (Hypera punctata, Fab.) were upon the shore at the foot of the cliff, presumably blown over from the top by the wind ; and I cannot help thinking that the bird was feeding upon these beetles, and that it was a wonderful instance of the " food-sense " in birds. An occasional Ringed Plover (Mgialitis hiaticula, Linn., locally called Stone-hatch inland and Stone-runner on the coast) is also seen on the beach, generally in the spring. Upon the shingle-beaches near Southwold, I have frequently put up flocks of Dunlin (Tringa alpina, Linn..locally the Oxbird);

An Apollo butterfly on the Suffolk coast  
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