The Brimstone

This is another find on Bepton Down.  They have not been seen in a great numbers but they are there if one looks for them.  They are long-lived and can be seen on the wing from as early as January although March is the more likely of months for them to become more numerous.  Earlier in the year they will feed on primeroses and daffodils.  These butterflies are to be found in many different habitats including urban settings.  Some of the first to emerge will live on until late July and will look rather tatty (see photograph).  The eggs are laid on buckthorn and alder.  They never sit with their wings open…  The caterpillars feed for about a month but then pupate away from the food plant on the ground in tangled vegetation.  They love purple blooms and in the summer will be found on teasels, thistles and red bartsia.  The last of them might still be seen in December. Brimstone copy.jpg