Fig 1
ADULT: Wingspan 52 - 62mm. A stunning golden yellow butterfly that is an annual migrant to Britain. The yellow wings and distinct black edging and various black spots to the upper wing surfaces are inmmediately diagnostic. The underwings have no black edges but a row of black spots and two white eye-spots on the hindwing are key to the ID process. Females are normally larger and darker than males although 10% of females come in a pale form known as helice. CHRYSALIS: 22mm. Dark green towards the upper side and lighter below. A pale yellow band runs along each side. Various black speckles. LARVA: 35mm. Green with a pale yellow line along each side that has variable orangey markings near each spiracle. EGG: White turning pinkish and located on Clovers and Birds Foot Trefoil. BEHAVIOUR: Migratory and fast flying and barely ever seen at rest. When however it does rest wings are almost always closed. In good years can be abundant. HABITAT: Almost anywhere but coastal areas and chalk downlands remain favourites. FLIGHT PERIOD: May to October.

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