The earlier pictures were taken on my wee compact Canon ixus 970IS, which involved sneaking up on the butterflies. This can be very frustrating when they fly off, but very rewarding when they don't!
Since 2012 I have been using a Panasonic Lumix FZ150, which allows me to zoom in to the butterflies from a couple of metres away.
Sunday, 23 October 2016
More Malaga Butterflies
We had three species of butterflies that were resident in the garden of the villa we were staying in. I have always noticed Long-tailed Blues, Lampides boeticus, flying around the garden there, but it was only this year that I realised that they were laying eggs on a bush in the garden, which I now think is Polygala myrtifoli.
I have previously found the eggs and caterpillars of Lang's Short-tailed Blues, Leptotes pirithous, on a Plumbego bush in the garden. This year I could find plenty of eggs, but I didn't find any caterpillars. I suspect that they may have been inside the flower buds judging by the holes I found.
There seemed to be more Geranium Bronzes, Cacyreus marshalli, than in previous years. This was confirmed by the number of eggs I found on the Geranium flowers around the garden. Most flower heads had at least one egg on it.
Other visitors to the garden included Large Whites, Pieris brassicae, Clouded Yellows, Colias crocea, and most commonly the Small White, Pieris rapae.
No trip to southern Spain would be complete without me seeing an African Grass Blue, Zizeeria knysna. I usually see them down by the river, but this year it took two visits to the Rio Guadalhorce before I saw one. I later saw some on the banks of the lakes at Emblase de Guadalhorce.
While I was there I briefly saw a Speckled Wood, Pararge aegeria.
There was also a Bath White, Pontia daplidice, flying among the grass there.
On our last full day at the villa I thought I would walk further along the road to see if I could find any other sites similar to my favourite butterfly spot. A couple of kilometres further up the hill I saw a track heading up into the olive groves, so followed it.
It was a worthwhile detour as almost immediately I saw a Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui.
There were a lot of Common Blues, Southern Brown Argus and Bath Whites flying around the few bits of green vegetation at the side of the track along with a little Red-underwing Skipper, Spialia sertorius.
Under an old olive tree I saw a couple of butterflies having a bit of a squabble. They turned out to be a Meadow Brown, Maniola jurtina...
And a Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus. This is the summer form that occurs around the Mediterranean.
On a trip to walk the Caminito del Rey I only saw Speckled Woods and Bath Whites, which was a little disappointing as I thought there may have been various species of Graylings there.
However, a trip to the Sierra Nevada was fantastic. I will be posting about that in the next week or two.