By CleanSteve

Marbled white butterflies at Daneway Banks

Fresh eggs were needed today so I decided to go to the Stancombe Beech farm shop on the edge of Bisley high up above Stroud town on the Cotswold hilltops. I had it in mind to follow that with a slight detour on the way home to visit Daneway Banks nature reserve where the  famed and elusive Large Blue Butterfly has been appearing in recent days.

It was very hot but it was beginning to slightly cloud over around midday with hazy clouds drifting in from the west. I had expected this and thought this might be beneficial for spotting the Large Blue which apparently prefer less hot weather. 

I followed the footpath into the reserve and immediately bumped into two young men who kindly told me where they had seen a few examples of that butterfly just minutes earlier. I followed their advice to climb the steep bank to the top of the Daneway Banks, named after the landslipped hillside close to Sapperton village towards the head of the Golden Valley.

I looked hard and tried to identify the two specific herbs found at the Banks which the Large Blue requires its survival. But I only saw a single blue butterfly flying away from me in the distance and wasn't able to follow it to where it might take a rest. However there were thousands of other butterflies to keep me delighted. The most common seem to be the Marbled Whites which this reserve is also an important home to. This pair danced together briefly and I'm blipping them as they provide the two views you might like of a butterfly, a profile and a top down picture of its pretty wing top patterns.

I will come back in a few days early in the morning and see if I can find the Large Blue.  I have blipped them before in previous years so I know it can be done!

I found out that this butterfly has had a variety of names ever since the 17th century:
Year – Name

1695 – Our Half-Mourner

1710 – Half-mourner

1717 – Common Half-mourner

1742 – Marmoris

1749 – Marble Butterfly

1766 – Marbled White

1766 – Marmoress

1795 – Marbled Argus

1819 – Marbled Butterfly

1841 – Marbled White Half-mourner

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