Butterfly Conservation Hampshire and
Saving butterflies, moths and our environment Isle of Wight Branch
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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 areas.

How to send in your records:

Electronic Recording options:
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 data.
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!

White-letter Hairstreak
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 needed!  
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: www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/gi/nationalgrid/nghelp1.html
or contact me in the event of difficulty.
Paul Brock, Butterfly Recorder
2 Greenways Road
SO42 7RN
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. 

 The 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 second form!!
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. 

Scientific Names

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 regular source 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 'cot' 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, gender, gell

  •  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'.


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