Monday 18 June 2012

Cotton Bags: Common Blue and Camberwell Beauty

The Common Blue is, as you might imagine from its name, widespread throughout the UK. It is, apparently, our most common blue butterfly. Be that as it may, I'm not sure that I see them very often, but that stunning colour is always a treat to encounter. The male is all blue (well, apart from a few black lines and those fuzzy white edges), but the female - while less brilliant - is actually more colourful, with her soft grey blending into blue, and those delightful orange spots.

The Camberwell Beauty, on the other hand, is a rare migrant visitor to these isles; . As might be expected, the name given is the insect's British name (Camberwell is a district of South London). Its Latin name is Nymphalis antiopa, but in North Europe (from whence it migrates to the UK), it is known, variously, as "Trauermantel" (German), "sorgmantel" (Swedish), and "Sørgekåpen" (Norwegian). These names translate to "Mourning Coat", which is the name given to the creature in North America.

Mr. Common Blue is now SOLD.

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