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Duke of Burgandy - May 2016

On May 8th Neil Hulme (Butterfly Conservation) discovered a female Duke of Burgundy egg laying in Scott's Corner.  He returned on the 12th and found an additional female, a fresher specimen, and also a male.  Duke of Burgundy males fiercely guard their colony sites and do not travel great distances, certainly not the 2.2miles from the nearest colony at Heyshott Down.  It is therefore likely that this potential colonisation took place last year and the male is the result of that.

 

It is still too early to be celebrating a colonisation, but it does, however, demonstrate that the reserve is improving for the Duke and with luck the Duke might be back to stay.

Rare beetle discovered on Graffham Down


There’s been an amazing discovery made at Graffham Down. Last year Tony Davis of Butterfly Conservation was visiting our reserves and discovered a beetle with a long, red body and long antennae. The beetle has now been identified as Cosnard’s Net-winged Beetle (Erotides cosnardi). As a beetle it may not look as impressive as a stag beetle or be as colourful as a ladybird but it is rare. Extremely rare. All the net-winged beetles are rare species but Cosnard’s Net-winged Beetle is the rarest – in fact it’s only been seen in Britain 11 times before Tony’s discovery. The beetle is known from just two areas in the UK; the lower Wye Valley on the Welsh border and the South Downs around Chichester. The larvae of this beetle feed inside old Beech trees and the downland flower meadows of Graffham Down provide an important feeding site for the adults. There’s a real risk of this lovely little insect becoming extinct in Britain so it’s wonderful news that the reserves of Graffham Down are providing a vital home for this animal.


 

 



Current and Previous newsletters 
   Graffham Down Trust regularly publishes autumn and spring newsletters.  View or downloaded these informative newsletters from the links below.

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