Marsh Fritillary survive winter storms and flooding on Bull Island

On 9th of March made a visit to the Marsh Fritillary site on Bull Island to see how the larvae had survived new year weather on the site. Although some of the low lying areas at the northern end of the Bull were still under water, over 70 colonies of basking caterpillars were observed.

SAM 1669
SAM 1630

Most of the colonies were observed on south facing elevated ridges throughout the dune slack area. Larval webs were mostly absent or in poor condition, indicating that the larvae were no beginning to live less "colonially". In a number of locations, the larger caterpillar groups had already divided into smaller groups of larvae that were moving off in separate directions in search of their food plant the Devils Bit Scabious. 

SAM 1665

No caterpillars were observed in the low lying wet areas that had been flooded and were still under water in parts.

© Peter Foss 2012