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THE PURPLE EMPEROR IN SUFFOLK. FOR the last ten years, I have been keeping my eyes open in likely woods, in Suffolk, for that magnificent butterfly, the Purple Emperor (Apatura iris L.), which, in the last Century, used to be quite common. I was never successful in my search though I feit sure that the species still existed here and that it had been overlooked. This July I was taken by a friend to two localities, one in Northants, and the other in Surrey, where the species is common. The weather was not very good, but I did see a number of the butterflies and was able to note the Aying habits of the males as they soared around the tops of the trees. I saw, too, the type and position of sallow bushes upon which ova were deposited, and we found a few ova. When I returned to Suffolk, I went again to a wood which I feit afforded all the right conditions, and, to my delight, I saw a Purple Emperor fly high overhead across a ride. The sun then went in and rain began to fall, but during the following days, whenever opportunity occurred, I visited the woods and saw many more butterflies. There was one oak in particular around which a male disported itself. Females would suddenly float over the tops of the sallows to rest, quite low down, on the leaves. The sallows were carefully examined and a few ova were found. One female flew into a bush and almost immediately flew out of it again as I approached. She had, however, had time to deposit an egg which I quickly detected. T h e carcase of a hedgehog which had, most helpfully, allowed itself to be run over, was hung up in the neighbourhood, and one day a rather worn male Purple Emperor was seen feeding from the decaying flesh. Pleasant though it is to be able to record this rediscovery of the Purple Emperor, it is deemed advisable not to divulge the locality. Suppression of the information is regretted, but there are about, nowadays, so many greedy and unscrupulous collectors from whose avarice the species must be protected. Members of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society will agree that this is the wisest course to take, especially when it is reported that one collector took 40 specimens of the rare Large Blue, M. arion, from a restricted locality in Devon this summer. S.


Purple Emperor  
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