Country Corner

The Northern Brown Argus
The Northern Brown Argus

There are garden butterflies and then there are proper rural butterflies.

None of the latter are likely to pay you a visit.

No, you have to go off in search of them.

In this case I headed for the hills,for this is Northern Brown Argus, a species found only where the tough little Rock Rose grows.

Would you believe Northern Brown Argus is actually one of the Blues, such as Common Blue and small Blue.

It’s just that it’s a brown blue!

It is closely related to the Brown Argus of English uplands.

However, only this northern species has a smart single white dot on each forewing.

Unlike most blues, there is little difference between males and females so I can’t tell you which this is.

That little Sunday safari found me not only several Northern Brown Argus but also my first ever Green Hairstreak, another wild upland butterfly.

I was also lucky enough to find the caterpillar of yet another butterfly of wild open spaces, the Dark Green Fritillary.

There were also a great many Chimney Sweeper moths, a dark charcoal grey moth of the uplands and wild grasslands, which makes itself easy to spot by being a daytime flyer.

I am actually in the process of trying to add Northern Brown Argus to the biodiversity of one of my client’s estates.

This can be done by planting rock rose, upon which the insect lays its eggs.

If there is a colony near enough there is a fair chance of attracting them.

At least that is my theory.

In the meantime I will just have to content myself with the odd Sunday safari!