Butterfly Recording in 2012
This year (2012) is year three of this current
five-year recording period.
We welcome records from anywhere in Hampshire and the Isle of
Wight. Some parts are not as well covered as others and members
may be interesting in exploring more neglected areas to survey
the butterflies present: see ‘Conservation’ section of the
Branch Website for details of these. 10-km squares where we
would particularly like more recording are SU55, SU62, SU63,
SU64, SU74 where there are still quite a few gaps. Even a brief
visit’s records would be useful if you are anywhere near these
How to send in your records:
• Electronic Recording
Paper records are time consuming for Branch volunteers to
action, therefore we ask members to select one of the electronic
method below wherever possible, which ensures accuracy of your
1. Sightings Form: user friendly section of
website Sightings Page, which you complete and send on-line;
first choice for many of our members, with the data being routed
onto our database. See article by Robin Turner [April 2011
Newsletter, pages 7-8], reproduced below
2. MapMate: if you have a large number of
records, MapMate is ‘must have’ software where you can submit
records to the Branch, in addition to reviewing your own records
over a period of time. If you would like to send in your data
via MapMate, the Branch Cuk is 1c4.
3. Excel Spreadsheet: it is still possible to
send your records using a spreadsheet please contact me and I
will email you a BC approved spreadsheet, which facilitates
transfer of data onto the main database (avoiding unnecessary
and time consuming administration).
• Paper Recording Forms:
For those without computer access. Approved paper recording
forms are downloadable from our website or contact me.
1. The Butterfly Site Recording Form (green): should be
completed when visiting the same site on a number of occasions.
2. The Casual Recording Form (yellow): should be completed when
visiting a number of different sites during the season.
Target Species for 2012, a plea!
Records are significantly down, so please have a look
for these butterflies flitting around elms during late June to
mid-August, particularly at the edge of woods or in a hedgerow.
They occasionally visit bramble, privet and thistle flowers,
amongst others, but mainly prefer aphid honeydew from
neighbouring trees, often around the treetops, so binoculars are
useful. Are they really absent from vast areas of Hampshire and
the Island? Please make a point of looking around any elms in
your neighbourhood or on your travels in the county, but stay 30
minutes or so and watch for movement if you can. Patience is
Although still well distributed on the Isle of Wight and
occasional on the coast in Hampshire between Lymington and
Keyhaven, it appears to be just hanging on at Fort Gilkicker,
Gosport and Shipton Bellinger, possibly also in the New Forest
(on private land?), Portsdown Hill and elsewhere. Please search
coastal areas and also watch out for it inland, noting that the
butterfly has three broods in this part of the country May to
mid June, July to mid August and mid September to end October.
Many thanks in advance, we welcome all records and if you have
any queries please contact me. Linda Barker is a difficult act
to follow but luckily she is readily available to deal with any
queries in my first year as Butterfly Recorder!
How to work out a grid reference: Easy to select via the
Website Sightings Page; the Ordnance Survey has a web-site which
explains how to read grid references. Visit:
or contact me in the event of difficulty.
Paul Brock, Butterfly Recorder
2 Greenways Road
E-mail: pauldbrock AT btinternet.com
Recording Your Sightings
The Recording Form can be accessed from the Branch’s website
Sightings page. This new form makes it very easy for
you to submit your sightings and incidentally much easier for
those in the Branch who have to process those sightings.
The first stage in completing the form is to provide your name,
and the date that you made the sighting/s. All very
straight forward. Next you will need to say where you made
the sighting by giving a name for the site and a grid reference.
Please make the site name as specific as possible so that it can
be checked approximately against the grid reference provided.
Providing the grid reference is perhaps the area that causes the
greatest confusion. If you happen to know the grid
reference for the site then you can just enter that straight
away. If you don’t know the reference or how to work it
out from a paper map then the map on the Recording Form is there
to help you.
objective is to move the red “pin” as accurately as you can to
the place you saw the butterflies. As you move the pin the
grid reference of its position is shown on the form.
Firstly with your mouse move the pin to the approximate area you
are looking for.
If you then move the slider at the top left hand of the map
upwards towards the plus sign you will zoom in the area around
the pin. This will enable to more accurately position the
pin and so improve the accuracy of the grid reference.
You can continue to move the pin and zoom in until you are happy
that the pin is positioned over the site. You will see
several coloured squares around the pin. These represent
the area of map covered by the grid reference. The smaller
the square, the higher the accuracy (resolution) of your
sighting position. The default accuracy is 100m (green
square). If you are very sure of the position of your
sighting you can check the 10m resolution on the right-hand side
of the map and as you zoom right in that will present you with a
red square that can be positioned over the site with the pin.
The next step is to list the species you saw, what its lifecycle
stage was and how many you observed. If required you can
add a further comment about the species seen. The species
and stage can both be accessed via a drop-down menu to reduce
the amount of typing you have to do. If you wish to record
other sightings such as other insects (including moths), animals
or unusual flowers you can enter their name under “or other
species”. The form allows you to enter up to 20 species of
butterfly. If you are lucky enough to see more than 20
species in a single visit to one site then please submit a
Finally before submitting the form you can add a comment about
the sighting as a whole such as the weather, temperature or
condition of the site.
When you are happy that you have entered all the data and
checked to ensure you have entered the date or the sighting
correctly (the form defaults to the current day’s date) you can
submit the form.
Having submitted the form you have the option of adding
photographs to accompany your sightings or return to the
Recording Form to add more sightings.
If you elect to add photographs you will be taken to a new page.
Here you can use the Browse button to locate the photographs on
your computer. Before adding photographs please ensure
that they are each less the 1MB in size.
Many of our common insects,
including butterflies & macro-moths, have common or colloquial names. However, if you travel abroad
and study these insects, most countries have their own common names for the
same species you see in this country - which can be puzzling. To avoid this, scientists
adopted a naming system first proposed by a Swedish botanist and physician called Linnaeus. He
proposed a binomial system of classification, i.e. made up of two words,
the first specifying the genus, or group of similar species, to which a
species belongs and the second indicating the particular species. The two
words are normally printed in italics, the first always beginning with an
upper case letter and the second always beginning with a lower case letter.
The difficulty faced by the
newcomer is that these binomial names are in Latin or "Latinised" Greek and
the question of pronunciation arises for those not familiar with these
languages, eg. Pieris brassicae for the Large White butterfly. Sometimes the second scientific name
is an indication of the food plant, or group of plants, of the caterpillars
or it may be derived from the name of someone, often an entomologist or
botanist. Strictly, they should not be
called Latin names because they are known as scientific names.
Pronunciation is often a puzzle and a
of embarrassment so the following guidelines should be of some help:
The vowels should be
pronounced 'a' as in 'cat', 'e' as in 'effort', 'i' as in 'sit', 'o' as in
and 'u' as in 'pub'.
The letter 'c' is pronounced
soft, ie. like an 's', when it occurs before the vowels 'e' & 'i', eg. celery, cement, centre
The letter 'g' is pronounced soft,
ie. like a 'j', when it occurs before the vowels 'e' & 'i', eg. gentle,
The letter 'c' is pronounced hard,
ie. like a 'k', when it occurs before the vowels 'a', 'o' & 'u', eg.
cannon, canal, cactus; cod, cockle, copper; cup, cuddle, culprit
The letter 'g' is pronounced
hard when it occurs before the vowels 'a', 'o' & 'u', eg. gabble, gag,
gallop; golf, goblet, gospel; guffaw, gulf, gust
'ch' is always pronounced hard
like a 'k' & 'ph' is pronounced like an 'f'.