17 Jul

The beautiful purple emperor butterfly likes tall trees, particularly mature oaks, and sallow for its caterpillars to feed upon. It is a very large and beautiful UK butterfly, which is only out for a few weeks of the year around now. They spend much of their time high in the trees fending off insects and birds from the territory that they regard as their own. There have been two expeditions in Crofton and Sparrow Woods in the last four weeks to try and find the purple emperor, but without success. 

However they are in Petts Wood - there was a recent confirmed sighting in Little Thrift, so thre is every chance that they are in the woods somewhere. Do take a photograph and share any sightings with us.

Here are some photos that I took of purple emperors at Knepp this year. The orange circular markings are supposed to look like goshawk eyes, to put off preditors. I'm afraid you won't find them on flowers - dog poo is more likely 

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