With cooler conditions today and a breeze blowing it was never going to be such a good day for butterflies today. I decided to go and check out the Wall Brown larva that I had found a couple of days ago to see how it was faring and if it was now looking more like how a Wall Brown larva was meant to look.
It quickly became apparent why the larva was looking different as it had started to turn into a pupa, being attached to a grass stem. I very carefully photographed it in situ and made sure it was well covered up as I left it. I then cleared some of the cut scrub that was still around after my Winter clearing some distance away.
Wall Brown larva changing into a pupa.
At this time of year the Emperor Moths have started flying and I was lucky to come across one to photograph as well as seeing a couple more on the wing. This is one of the most spectacular of Britain's macro moths and is always a delight to see.
Male Emperor Moth.
Heading back to the car I quickly checked the Wall Brown larva/pupa and was met with the dreadful sight of a Wolf Spider eating the unfortunate pupa. It appears that it had started the final transformation of wriggling out of its larval skin and the Spider had seen the movement and attacked it. Such a shame after all the effort of growing to the stage of pupation to be killed before it could become a butterfly. I have now seen 3 in this stage over the past few years that have been eaten, although the other 2 were attacked by Ants.