corfu butterfly conservation ABOUT DISCUSSION THE BUTTERFLIES RECORDING CONTACT US SIGN IN Greek
ABOUT DISCUSSION THE BUTTERFLIES RECORDING CONTACT USSIGN INGreek

Sightings and discussion

Previous threads:
April - 2020
March - 2020
February - 2020
January - 2020
December - 2019

Dr Dan Danahar
26 January 2020 - 20:35:26

Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

We understand that on this coming Friday, decisions will be made that will have long term impacts on the legal status of the Erimiti coast.

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Dr Dan Danahar commented on 26 January 2020 at 20:36:18:

, Dr Dan Danahar -

We have recorded some of the butterfly species found along the path that hugs this shore but have in no way undertaken any form of systematic survey.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 26 January 2020 at 20:37:22

Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

It is regretful that a decision is to be made in the absence of such information and if this is true of butterflies it is almost certainly true of the many other phyla that must be found in this region.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 26 January 2020 at 20:41:28

Photo: Dr Dan Danahar. Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

We hope that the results of the Corfu Butterfly Survey will be make informed decisions of this nature much easier in the future. Currently, the Erimiti coast is one of the best locations to reliably see good populations of the Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera).

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 26 January 2020 at 20:54:58

For more information visit: https://www.erimitis.gr/en/erimitis-eng/

 

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Anne Sordinas
22 January 2020 - 20:47:17

Further to my post of January 8th, today one of my three Geranium Bronze pupae successfully emerged in my house after being brought in for two nights. I had planned on leaving them all outside due to cold weather, but the first emerged two days ago outside, and I realized they are not waiting for spring. Today's butterfly was released where I found it which is a place with many of its own kind. The third pupa will hopefully eclose there soon in the wild (it was not moved at all), and likely others I have not seen as well. A good start for this species in central Corfu.

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Dr Dan Danahar commented on 26 January 2020 at 20:15:52:

How much time do you think you put into looking for these pupa Anne? It would be interesting to know.

Anne Sordinas replied on 27 January 2020 at 23:24:44

Very little for this species. I simply look over any geranium I see for a few minutes. That's why I believe there must be many more I'm not seeing!

 

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Anne Sordinas
15 January 2020 - 19:41:07

I found a dead Painted Lady today. Totally dry. It got me thinking..... It's actually more astonishing I haven't found one before now when we consider the 2019 migration of this species.

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Chrislittle commented on 17 January 2020 at 07:38:22:

Ant food

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 17 January 2020 at 15:24:08

I guess it may have died of old age.

Anne Sordinas replied on 17 January 2020 at 20:46:09

Agree Chris, two other times I've seen them were just wings being carried by ants (G. Cleopatra & P. machaon) Dan, yes, it seemed unharmed.

marmari replied on 17 January 2020 at 23:15:25

I have seen dragonflies catch butterflies in flight and discard the wings.Also the same in Greece when just wings are left on the ground.

marmari replied on 17 January 2020 at 23:17:50

I have seen dragonflies catch butterflies in flight and discard the wings.Also the same in Greece when just wings are left on the ground.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 18 January 2020 at 20:00:27

That is a fascinating observation Marmari.

Anne Sordinas replied on 20 January 2020 at 20:02:17

Thanks Marmari. That's amazing.

RichardR replied on 21 January 2020 at 18:00:17

I have also seen a dragonfly catch a Speckled Wood and discard the wings as it quickly consumed it

Anne Sordinas replied on 22 January 2020 at 20:28:38

I didn't know this about dragonflies. I will certainly watch them this spring in Mon Repos gardens where there are plenty of both insects.

 

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Dr Dan Danahar
12 January 2020 - 17:39:07

Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

Corfu Butterfly Conservation - project update Six days in and if you include myself and the website designer, as of yesterday, we have 28 registered members to this website, which pleases us no end. These individuals include: 1) George Kaloyiannis, 2) Pete Smith, 3) David Cook, 4) Peter Hunt, 5) David Shearan, 6) Harry Clarke, 7) Mark Colvin, 8) Matt Berry, 9) Ken Elsom, 10) Chris Little, 11) Lynda George, 12) Owen Beckett, 13) Gillian Elsom, 14) Anne Sordinas, 15) Jane Prestige, 16) Bob Giles, 17) Tina Lapwing, 18) Peter Hardiman, 19) Sarah Canning, 20) Pat Moore, 21) Tiny Gould, 22) Rob Kesseler, 23) Toby Little, 24) Colin Night, 25) William Cullen and 26) Andy Martin. Thank you all for the interest you have shown in this project. If we can register this number of members in the first six days, we think it bodes well for a substantial membership and the future of the project. Of course, this week hasn't all been plain sailing. We have had some unfortunate glitches on the site and the website designer has been working hard to fix them. One of the things that has been so helpful for him, has been the willingness of members to report problems, in detail. This has really helped speed up improvements and we would be grateful if you would continue to keep us in the loop with regards to website difficulties, as and when they occur. As of now, we can say with confidence, that the prognosis is that the website will only get easier and more reliable to use. It's probably wise to say that up until now, there have been no grant awarding bodies financially contributing towards the development of this project. It has all been achieved through volunteer hours and personal financial contributions. Perhaps, as a consequence, expectations may have been elevated unreasonably high about the functionality of the website. We know that the site isn't perfect but we aim, over time, for you to see a steady and gradual improvement in its performance. However, being the first wave of members, you may have experienced difficulties that we hope later members will not encounter. For example, all registered members will have been informed that full access to the site will only happen after their membership has been confirmed. The actual truth is that this piece of code has not yet been written and so you are all by default already confirmed and you all have complete access to the site as it currently stands. We have also been asked about improvements required to make this website work more effectively on smart phones. We have known from day one that smart phones will probably be the major route by which people record their sightings but we have not had the time to look at this issue yet. However, once the website has been fully optimised, we will then focus our attention on a smart phone recording approach that will be easy and reliable to use. We have also been asked if there will be an identification section on the site, this will come, but let there be no doubt in anybody’s mind, all of your records will have to be verified by our verifications officer; Harry E Clarke and so if your butterfly identification skills are minimal, be reassured, your records will be identified and you will be informed. Whilst on the point of records, every sighting you record on the website will be visible to you, giving you a species distribution map for each species of butterfly you have seen in Corfu. Also, all of your data will be accessible in a table that will show you every sighting you have input into the site as well. It is this combined, community data from everybody’s sightings that we will use to create the distribution maps for the Corfu Butterfly Atlas and pass on to the appropriate scientific organisations and scientists. As you know, the official five year Corfu Butterfly Survey started on the 7th January 2020 and will end on the 7th January 2025 (which will be the centenary of Gerald Durrell’s birth). A number of individuals have asked if we want earlier records, pre 2020. This is a very good question and Harry E Clarke has asked for it to be clarified that these records will be extremely important because they will help with the verification and confirmation of the distribution data collected during the five year survey period. Please use this sightings and discussion page to raise any other questions, regarding the issues raised here or any other new considerations. I’m now returning to the butterflies of Cyprus, for further inspiration. A tremendous project ushered in by Christodoulos Makris and Eddie John. Their atlas published in 2003 is an incredible achievement, may we create a document of equal value. I for one am looking forward to an exciting Corfiot butterfly season, during 2020. V. Best wishes Dr Dan Danahar dan@corfubutterflies.org.uk www.corfubutterflies.org.uk

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iomtosalop commented on 16 January 2020 at 15:58:22:

The photos on the top of each page are brilliant. However the menu becomes difficult to see against the background. Perhaps the menu text should be white or yellow so it stands out?

 

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Anne Sordinas
8 January 2020 - 21:56:57

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Melitaea_didyma class=cbc_text-blue><b>Melitaea didyma</b></a> ♂️. 20/07/19 Newly emerged. Kalafationes. Photo: Anne Sordinas.

Here is a newly emerged Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea didyma ♂️) from last summer. After drying its wings, it flew over the meadow.

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Dr Dan Danahar commented on 9 January 2020 at 08:57:47:

Is this something that you reared through?, what was this individual's origin? I'm wondering if you can record it as a survey record. We will need advice from our Verifications Officer Harry E. Clarke.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 9 January 2020 at 08:58:22

A great contribution Anne

Anne Sordinas replied on 9 January 2020 at 17:58:55

Thanks Dan. I'm not sure I would say I "reared" it because I did not feed it. What happens at my house is wild frit cats climb my house wall to pupate. Because they invariably get invaded by wasps or the July sunlight destroys them, I place the cats in various potted plants on my shady veranda. They climb up the plants and pupate. So this individual who attached to my hibiscus was not fed by me or brought indoors at all.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 10 January 2020 at 12:34:04

Anne, thank you for explaining, this is clearly a legitimate record because it's a wild larva that happened to pupate on your land. From what you have said it seems that you did nothing to change the conditions that would affected the butterfly in anyway - other than helping it avoid predation and adverse weather conditions. In your original report you said "Here is a newly emerged Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea didyma ♂️) from last summer. After drying its wings, it flew over the meadow." Does that mean it was a caterpillar from last summer or that the butterfly emerged last summer?

Anne Sordinas replied on 10 January 2020 at 17:24:10

Larva, pupa and adult were all from July 2019. The eclosion date was 20/07/19 and the larva was found approximately 12 days earlier. Larvae on my house usually take only 1-2 days to attach and reach J stage and one more to pupate. I have posted low quality video of both pupation and eclosion of this species on our FB group page.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 11 January 2020 at 21:20:43

Excellent. Did you see this tweet showing historic video of the first encounter in the UK: https://twitter.com/ButterflyCorfu/status/1215763237674934273 ?

 

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Anne Sordinas
8 January 2020 - 15:34:52

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Cacyreus_marshalli class=cbc_text-blue><b>Cacyreus marshalli</b></a>. Pupal stage. Kalafationes. Photo: Anne Sordinas.

I found a beautiful pupa of the Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) species this morning. Very exciting for me as I have been looking for eggs and larvae for many months. This spot is especially abundant for this species all summer. I look forward to watching the chrysalis' progression in this chilly time period.

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Dr Dan Danahar commented on 8 January 2020 at 17:23:42:

, Dr Dan Danahar -

This is a remarkable find Anne. Finding butterfly pupae is something that usually takes a great deal of skill and some luck. I'm generalising here but the pupae are usually the hardest life stage to find in the wild, probably because their density in the landscape is far lower than that of the ovae or larvae, simply because of the impact of predation. I'm also delighted that the Corfu Butterfly Survey should start with such a remarkable find. It will have to have a special mention in the atlas as the first record! I attach an image of a pupa I reared through a number of years ago and you will see that the extremely long hairs, as well as the close association with the hostplant makes your identification undeniable. Congratulations.

Anne Sordinas replied on 8 January 2020 at 21:44:06

Thank you Dan. You once told me how hard it is to find pupae in the wild, so naturally I've been trying ever since. Your support is invaluable!

marmari replied on 10 January 2020 at 14:33:54

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Cacyreus_marshalli class=cbc_text-blue><b>Geranium Bronze</b></a>,female. Taken May 2016. Lefkada. Photo: marmari.

Yes an excellent find. I presume that this species is common on Corfu.I must say that over the last few years when on nearby Islands,find a large pelargonium and more often than not a Geranium Bronze will not be too far away.

marmari replied on 10 January 2020 at 14:41:18

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Cacyreus_marshalli class=cbc_text-blue><b>Geranium Bronze</b></a>,female.. Taken May 2016. Lefkada. Photo: marmari.

Same female still busy on the same large plant.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 11 January 2020 at 21:17:52

Great images, Marmari. This species is common in Corfu but only recorded for the first time from 2009, if memory serves!

marmari replied on 12 January 2020 at 13:05:34

Thanks for your reply Dan.Quite a recent coloniser then. I have requested information on 2 earlier discussions (Eastern Orange Tip & Mazarine Blue) If anyone can help,I would be very grateful.

 

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Anne Sordinas
7 January 2020 - 17:29:48

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Glaucopsyche_alexis class=cbc_text-blue><b>Glaucopsyche alexis</b></a>. 16/04/19. Poulades. Photo: Anne Sordinas.

A few photos from memorable butterfly sightings.....

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Dr Dan Danahar commented on 7 January 2020 at 20:04:32:

, Dr Dan Danahar -

The Green Underside Blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) is a very attractive butterfly.

marmari replied on 8 January 2020 at 10:29:00

Lolas Blue male Lolana iolas. Taken 29 May 2015. Lefkada. Photo: marmari.

It is certainly an outstandingly attractive species and shown off well in the two photos above.The following photo of a male Iolas Blue (lolana iolas) was taken in 2015 not too far away on Lefkada.It was apparently the first known record of this species in the Ionian Islands. I would be interested to know if this species has been seen on Corfu or anywhere in the Ionians since then.

Anne Sordinas replied on 8 January 2020 at 15:37:58

A beautiful insect! I hope someone can answer your query.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 8 January 2020 at 17:27:18

Marmari, this is indeed an intriguing prospect. Could you tell us something about the habitat in which this insect was found in Lefkada? That would give us an idea of where we might start looking for it on Corfu. Thank you for sharing.

marmari replied on 8 January 2020 at 22:29:55

Hi Dan,the location of this sighting was at the Nidri Waterfall a short distance from this coastal town on Lefkada.The waterfall is in a ravine,well used to tourists, and this butterfly was after moisture along with several other butterflies of different species.Not much to go on I am afraid. Just a lucky encounter maybe.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 9 January 2020 at 08:59:39

So gravel paths by riverine environments, would be a good summary?

marmari replied on 9 January 2020 at 10:57:53

Yes,that description describes it very aptly.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 10 January 2020 at 12:34:39

Thank you

 

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Anne Sordinas
7 January 2020 - 17:15:09

Host plant. Photo: Anne Sordinas.

I'm so thrilled there is a discussion feature on this new site. I think it will be so useful to get feedback in a different way from the usual social media outlets. This is "our" space! So yesterday I was bushwhacking my way to get to a large Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) to find any trace of Charaxes jasius. Too early for larvae, but I did see some damaged leaves and seeing the beautiful cat photo from Corfu in the species section and having Pashas on my property, I am going to keep my eye out for them this spring.

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Dr Dan Danahar commented on 7 January 2020 at 20:02:22:

You are so lucky to have Pashas on your land. Its great to have you on the site. Did you see any butterflies today Anne?

Anne Sordinas replied on 7 January 2020 at 23:21:54

Thank you. Yes, I saw three Red Admirals (Two chasing each other) They were too high to photograph!

marmari replied on 8 January 2020 at 22:44:07

Two tailed pasha. Meganisi. Photo: marmari.

I am very envious of you Anne for having such a magnificent butterfly so close to you.I have visited the Greek Islands for some years now and can only count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that I have encounter this species.The last and perhaps the best was in May 2019 on Meganisi when my wife complained of something landing on her as she emerged from the swimming pool.It was persistent and seeing that it was a Pasha told her to not mind.This butterfly spent some time enjoying the moisture from her skin and swimsuit before allowing me to coax it to the ground where it continued to nectar.What a beautiful moment.It eventually flew off into the surrounding olive trees.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 9 January 2020 at 09:06:07

Marmari, this is a remarkable encounter and the butterfly is clearly a reasonably fresh individual. Are you talking about Meganisi, the island off Lefkada? Anne, did you get to record the Red Admirals?

marmari replied on 9 January 2020 at 11:03:45

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Charaxes_jasius class=cbc_text-blue><b>Two-tailed Pasha</b></a>. Taken 23rd May 2019. Meganisi.. Photo: marmari.

Yes,the island off Lefkada.Seen a stones throw from the coastal clifftop village of Spartachori.This individual was certainly in good condition with a lovely pair of tails.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 10 January 2020 at 12:35:49

That is a fabulous side shot.

 

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Chrislittle
7 January 2020 - 10:57:04

Am enormous thank you and congratulations to Dan and team for getting this site up and running on what would have been Gerald Durrell's 95th birthday - I'm sure he would have been impressed and very forthright about its value in putting the conservation of the natural world of Corfu on a sound footing. The site seems easy to use, so lets start recording today.

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Dr Dan Danahar commented on 7 January 2020 at 11:03:59:

Thank you, Chris. As you know, this really was a team effort and I'm delighted to see the results.

marmari replied on 7 January 2020 at 11:46:20

Great to find a wonderful website of butterflies on Corfu.Although I am in the UK a holiday to this lovely island in May is now all the more eagerly anticipated.Well done to all for the work that has been put into this site.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 7 January 2020 at 12:23:56

Thank you, Marmari. We are really pleased to hear from you. When you come to Corfu in May, you will be able to make the most of this site and its members.

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 7 January 2020 at 12:26:44

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Charaxes_jasius class=cbc_text-blue><b>Two-tailed Pasha</b></a>. Taken 23rd May 2019. Meganisi.. Photo: marmari. Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

Just a little image of a Nettle Tree butterfly (Libythea celtis) to keep us all going!

 

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Dr Dan Danahar
7 January 2020 - 08:47:36

Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

This morning we have had a slight glitch preventing registration but the webmaster believes this is now resolved. So welcome to the site.

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Dr Dan Danahar commented on 7 January 2020 at 08:48:30:

May the 5 year Corfu Butterfly Survey start today!

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 7 January 2020 at 08:49:29

Who will be the first to record a butterfly on this site?

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 7 January 2020 at 08:57:12

Once you have recorded your sighting, please share the news with others here!

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 7 January 2020 at 09:02:58

Once you have recorded your sighting, please share the news with others here!

Dr Dan Danahar replied on 7 January 2020 at 09:05:25

George Kaloyiannis has asked: "Dan, am I right in thinking you don't want us uploading photos from previous years?" My response was " Yes please upload photos from previous years but only the data for the next five years will be included in the Corfu Butterflies Survey and therefore the atlas."

 

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Dr Dan Danahar
6 January 2020 - 13:16:17

Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

In addition to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/634400976634167/ Corfu Butterfly Conservation now has its own twitter account. Please follow us and retweet our tweets: https://twitter.com/ButterflyCorfu

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Dr Dan Danahar
5 January 2020 - 18:20:33

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Anthocharis_damone class=cbc_text-blue><b>Anthocharis damone</b></a>. Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

The Eastern Orange Tip (Anthocharis damone) is a very local species found in dry open scrub and banks where Woad (Isatis), the larval hostplants grows, 0-1400 m. Univoltine : late March-May. Will we find more records in 2020?

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Anne Sordinas commented on 7 January 2020 at 17:39:14:

This is one species I really hope to see this spring. Absolutely stunning!

marmari replied on 10 January 2020 at 18:40:09

Any chance of seeing one of these beauties in mid-May?

 

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Dr Dan Danahar
4 January 2020 - 15:34:07

<a href=butterflies.php?species=Cyaniris_semiargus_semiargus class=cbc_text-blue><b>Mazarine Blue</b></a> (Polyommatus semiargus). Photographed below Mt Pantokrator . Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.
<a href=butterflies.php?species=Cyaniris_semiargus_semiargus class=cbc_text-blue><b>Mazarine Blue</b></a>. Photographed below Mt Pantokrator . Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.
<a href=butterflies.php?species=Cyaniris_semiargus_semiargus class=cbc_text-blue><b>Mazarine Blue</b></a>. Photographed below Mt Pantokrator . Photo: Dr Dan Danahar.

I photographed the Mazarine Blue (Polyommatus semiargus) at 700 meters above sea level, just below the summit of Mt Pantokrator on the 30th May 2019. I wonder if anybody else will find this species there?

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marmari commented on 10 January 2020 at 12:26:05:

Now that is very interesting as this is one of many 'blues'that I have not seen.We are staying at Barbati in the second half of May so perhaps it may be possible to get to this spot.Any directions anyone please.?

 

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Colin Knight commented on 7 January 2020 at 10:45:21:

I registered in the UK at about 10am on a Windows PC without problems so it looks like the initial glitches reported have been fixed. Excellent site, I've been looking forward to the launch since I first heard about its development and on initial scrutiny it has exceeded my expectations, well done to all involved, I'm looking forward to adding my own records when I return to Corfu in April with other Corfu Butterfly Enthusiasts (CBEs!)

 

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