Les Papillons de Bellon

The butterflies in August are still present in good numbers in old pastures, woodland edges and especially along the railway line where access tracks are carefully maintained and the vegetation cleared annually.

The habitats on the sides of the railway line are full of flowers and butterflies
Dogwood berries
Lesser purple emperor patrols the path from the edge of the sweet corn

Near a fishing lake and nestling between a poplar plantation and lines of tall oak trees, a small field of plantains, docks, knapweed and common fleabane, is bisected by a wet ditch full of purple loosestrife, hemp agrimony, hairy willowherb and water mint. This colourful assemblage pulls in a wide range of butterflies to nectar and a few more than last August.

Unimproved damp grassland with wet ditch

The small and sooty coppers sit on the mint whereas the large coppers nectar solely on the fleabane.  This last species, in French the le cuivré des marais or grand cuivré, is restricted to damp, unimproved grasslands most of which have been drained and tidied up, as a consequence it is a rare and notable species in France and an important record for la commune de Bellon.


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