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NOTES ON THE CAMBERWELL BEAUTY AT MINSMERE, 19TH AUGUST 1996 RICHARD STEWART The Camberwell Beauty, Nymphalis antiopa, was recorded in eight separate Suffolk locations in 1996, all records being verified after completion of 'rare Butterfly' forms. The Camberwell Beauty at Minsmere on 19th August was seen by a large number of visitors, many alerted to its presence after prominent inclusion on the Reserve's daily notice board. It was seen in the vicinity of willows between the north and south hides and eventually came to rest on a smaller willow close to the reserve path. It stayed there for several hours, the attraction being sap oozing from a small hole in the trank. With wings closed and head downwards it was well camouflaged against the slender trank. This attraction to tree sap has been noted in many accounts of the Camberwell Beauty's behaviour and during the previous County Butterfly Survey a specimen at Brantham 'remained for a second day, attracted to sap seeping from a wound in an oak'. (Mendel & Piotrowski, 1986). The authors also noted that 'the unpleasant smelling sap round the wounds in trees attacked by the larvae of the Goat Moth, Cossus cossus L. is known to attract many types of insects'. This specimen at Minsmere was observed to open its wings on four occasions. Twice it flicked them open to deter a Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta which landed on top of it in an attempt to feed from the same sap hole. The other two occasions concerned the presence of a hörnet, Vespa crabro. This pulled the butterfly off the willow trank, but each time the Camberwell Beauty opened its wings and brashed the hörnet off its body. the hörnet is included in the butterfly predators noted in the Suffolk Garden Butterfly Survey of 1994 (Stewart, 1995) and hörnet predation of butterflies has been recorded at Minsmere, particularly around the buddleias outside the toilet block. Two hornets were observed on 7th September 1989 at this location, one of which caught a Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urtica, removed its wings and flew off with the rest of its body. Another of the same species was carried away with its wings intact. Four attempts to catch a Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, were unsuccessful and during the ten minute (approx.) Observation no other butterflies were attacked, despite the presence of Grayling, Hipparchia semele, Comma, Polygonia c-album, Peacock, lnachis io and Small White, Pieris rapae (Beaumont, 1990). The writer suggested reasons as to why only one species was captured and further observations of hörnet predation of butterflies would be welcomed. The Camberwell Beauty was then observed to glide down about three feet and sun itself, with open wings. This left the sap hole available to the hörnet, which on both occasions fed from it for at least three minutes. These notes are from my personal Observation and written details provided by Philip Horsnail of Cottesbrooke, Northants, to whom I express my thanks. References Beaumont, A. (1990). Hunting hornets. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 26: 4. Mendel, H. & Piotrowski, S. H. (1986). The butterflies of Suffolk. Ipswich, Suffolk Naturalists' Society.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 33 (1997)


Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 33

Stewart, R. G. (1995). The Suffolk garden butterfly survey 1994. Trans. Nat. Soc., 31: 10.


Corrections Two corrections to the 1996 Suffolk Natural History: 1. A record year for rare butterflies in Suffolk - p. 6-14 for Camberwell Beauty '39 records from 36 tetrads' in text and under map p. 12 read '38 records from 35 tetrads'. 2. p. 10 Camberwell Beauty record August 19th at Landguard - for 'Paul Holmes' read 'Paul Oldfield'. Richard Stewart (County Butterfly Recorder) 'Valezina' 112 Westerfield Road Ipswich IP4 2XW

Butterflies at Framlingham July 28th-August 5th Our observations in 1996 were as follows Small Skipper Large Skipper Large White Small White Green-veined White Small Copper Common Blue Holly Blue

Every day 28, 4, 5 All except 28 Every day All except 29 4 30,31,4,5 Every day Ringlet

Red Admiral Painted Lady Small Tortoiseshell Peacock Comma Wall Brown Gatekeeper Meadow Brown 28, 29, 3, 4, 5

28, 29,31, 1,3, 4 , 5 Every day All except 1 28, 29, 3 0 , 3 1 , 3 , 4 , 5 28,4 3 Every day Every day

Observations were made again on walks in and around Framlingham. The third coldest May since records began had held the season back with the result that we saw no brimstones and only one wall brown, whilst the small copper were probably between broods. On the other hand, there were still plenty of ringlets. The resurgence of the holly blue was spectacular, as was the painted lady explosion. Although out 1996 visit was longer than in 1995, we saw fewer species and the species-days total was comparatively smaller. Reference Aston, A. (1996). Butterflies at Framlingham July 30th-August 5th. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 32, 14. Alasdair Aston

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 33 (1997)

Notes on the Camberwell Beauty at Minsmere, 19th August 1996  

Stewart, R. G.

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