Friday, 2 July 2010

Qu'est-ce que nous avons comme faune au verger ?

So, what have we got in the way of wildlife in the orchard?

Our potager / verger is run organically. It's mowed at times that respect wildflower seed development and insect life cycles. Weeds are only removed in the potager if the vegetables are in real danger of disappearing, otherwise they are allowed to act as green manure and soil stabilisation. To stop thistles getting out of hand they are chopped off occasionally.

The ethereal female Blue Featherleg, which drifts amongst
the long grass like a piece of straw being lifted by the wind.
This management system has proved its worth already with the appearance of 5 orchid species, but I am also very pleased that we have a high population of damselflies enjoying the long grass and several species of rare butterfly breeding.

An unusually blue female Common Blue Butterfly.

Dragonflies (Les Libellules) recorded:
English Name
French Name
Scientific Name
Banded Demoiselle
Le Caloptéryx eclatant
Calopteryx splendens
Migrant Spreadwing
Le Leste sauvage
Lestes barbarus
Western Willow Spreadwing
Le Leste vert
Lestes viridus
Common Winter Damsel
Le Leste brun
Sympecma fusca
Common Bluetail
L'Agrion élégant
Ischnura elegans
Azure Bluet
L'Agrion jouvencelle
Coneagrion puella
Blue Featherleg
L'Agrion à larges pattes
Platycnemis pennipes
Blue Hawker
L'Aeschne bleue
Aeshna cyanea
Blue Emperor
L'Anax empereur
Anax imperator
Common Clubtail
Le Gomphus très commun
Gomphus vulgatissimus
Western Clubtail
Le Gomphus gentil
Gomphus pulchellus
Small Pincertail
Le Gompus à pinces
Onychogomphus forcipatus
Common Goldenring
Le Cordulegastre annele
Cordulegaster boltonii
Orange-spotted Emerald
La Cordulie à corps fin
Oxygastra curtisii
Broad-bodied Chaser
La Libellule deprimée
Libellula depressa
Black-tailed Skimmer
L'Orthetrum reticule
Orthetrum cancellatum
White-tailed Skimmer
L'Orthetrum à cercoides blancs
Orthetrum albistylum

Orange-spotted Emerald Dragonfly (which naturally disappeared,
presumed eaten, a couple of hours before I did a wildlife and
orchid walk with clients, so they didn't get to see it after
I told them about it).

Butterflies (Les Papillons du Jour) recorded:

English Name
French Name
Scientific Name
Grizzled Skipper
Le Tacheté
Pyrgus malvae
Olive Skipper
L'Hespérie de l'alchémille
Pyrgus serratulae
Essex Skipper
L'Hespérie du dactyle
Thymelicus lineolus
Scarce Swallowtail
Le Flambé
Iphiclides podalirius
Le Machaon
Papilio machaon
Wood White
La Piéride de la moutarde
Leptidia sinapis
Large White
La Piéride du chou
Pieris brassicae
Small White
La Piéride de la rave
Pieris rapae
Orange Tip
Anthocharis cardamines
Clouded Yellow
Le Souci
Colias crocea
Le Citron
Gonepteryx rhamni
Small Copper
Le Bronzé
Lycaena phlaeas
Sooty Copper
L'Argus myope
Lycaena tityrus
Holly Blue
L'Azuré des nerpruns
Celastrina argiolus
Small Blue
L'Argus frêle
Cupido minimus
Common Blue
L'Argus bleu
Polyommatus icarus
Brown Argus
Le Collier-de-corail
Aricia agestis
Speckled Wood
Le Tircis
Parage aegeria
Wall Brown
La Mégère (f), Le Satyre (m)
Lasiommata megera
Small Heath
Le Procris
Coenonympha pamphilus
Pyronia tithonus
Meadow Brown
Le Myrtil
Maniola jurtina
Marbled White
Le Demi-deuil
Melanargia galathea
Queen of Spain Fritillary
Le Petit Nacré
Issoria lathonia
Violet Fritillary
La Petite Violette
Clossiana dia
Southern White Admiral
Le Sylvain azuré
Limenitis reducta
Small Tortoiseshell
La Petite Tortue
Aglais urticae
Le Paon-du-Jour
Inachis io
Red Admiral
Le Vulcain
Vanessa atalanta
Painted Lady
La Belle-Dame
Vanessa cardui
Glanville Fritillary
La Mélitée du plantain
Melitaea cinxia

Marbled White Butterfly, a chalk downland specialist.
And that's without trying to sort out those tricky blues and darters seriously.

There is also a large population of European Wall Lizards, a large Western Whip Snake, along with many birds and dozens of species of bees, flies, beetles, bugs, moths and wasps.


Dad Update: I spoke to my father yesterday, for the first time in almost two weeks. We're not sure when he will be home, but probably next week if things continue the way they are.


Diane said...

Beautiful pictures with masses of info. One day I may learn! Diane

Diogenes said...

The pictures you posted are pretty incredible! Thank you for this post.

Don't think I have ever seen a blue butterfly.

The Beaver said...


You must be glad that your dad is getting better - I am pretty sure that he is waiting to be in his own surroundings at home.

Susan said...

Diane: I am sure you will get to grips with French wildlife - I did. Remember - there is a lot less of it to get to know than in South Africa or Australia.

Diogenes: There is a whole family of small blue butterflies, and there are species all over the world. They are notoriously difficult to tell apart.

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