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Jam Lady

Survival of the Large Blue Butterfly

It involves short turf, a specific species of red ant and - ready for this - wild oregano plants.

Who'd a thought of this!
Mistress Rose

I happened to know that, as I have gathered lots of useless information over the years, but it confused me that it quoted wild oregano as the food plant. Looking on the British Butterfly Conservation site, I see the food plant is given as wild thyme, which is what I thought it was. Probably different names for the same or related species.

In the UK our original large blue colonies died out because of lack of grazing. Short grazed grass is needed, and the loss of this habitat, first because the sheep were taken off, then the rabbits died, was the cause of the extinction. More have been introduced from Sweden, which are very similar genetically to the British species, and there are a number of colonies in the UK now.
wellington womble

They tried very hard to protect them by fencing out the sheep, which seemed logical and had the best of intentions. Just goes to show how research is needed into nature.

about 15 yrs ago there were reports that a small blue bbfly was nearly or actually extinct on chalk downland in the south of the uk.

however when i id ed what was living in south yorks they were thriving on the scrub growing on the limestone ballast of disused pit railways.

a bit like the nearly extinct "panda beetles" we have loads on the local tansey and not just in the "panda beetle reserves"

i recon quite a few things are still hanging on if one looks in different places to the traditional locations.

I have known Jeremy Thomas since Adam was a boy, when he (Jeremy, not Adam) started his PhD on another rare butterfly, the Black Hairstreak. We still bump into each other at meetings from time to time and say 'Hello'. A clever chap.

Mistress Rose

One of our friends found a large copper a couple of years ago. They are supposed to be extinct, but he found one. He has also found some quite rare fungi. It is surprising what you find when you look. An 'expert' stated that we wouldn't have dormice in our wood. He was quite surprised to be shown a summer nest that had blown out of a tree, and to be told that we are a red dot on the Wildlife Trust dormouse map.
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