Moore Hall Wildlife

Those of you that read my blog regularly will know that Moore Hall is one of our favourite local places to go for a walk here in County Mayo. It never fails to inspire. During our trip last weekend it was nice to see all the early summer woodland plants.

But the highlight was seeing these wood whites. These butterflies are not common in Mayo and though I think I may have seen them before, this is the first time I got close enough to take a photo! Wood whites are what is called a cryptic species. Different wood white species can only be differentiated by either dissecting their genitalia or by checking their DNA.  In Ireland, it was originally thought that we had the Real’s Wood White (Leptidea reali) and Wood White (Leptidea sinapis), but recent research shows that  we  don’t have Real’s Wood White, but the Cryptic Wood White (Leptidea juvernica) –  a species completely absent from Britain but present in other parts of Europe. These two were engaged in a mating courtship – the reason I was able to get so close!

Wood whites

Wood whites

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21 thoughts on “Moore Hall Wildlife

  1. Julie

    The photo of the two wood whites in courtship is really beautiful. Identifying is so complicated, does this mean you have a butterfly travelled from mainland Europe?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      No, they have probably been here a while, just mis-identified or that is what they think. We have another wood white that may be restricted to just the Burren in Co Clare but because they cannot be separated in the field no one really knows!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Melissa Shaw-Smith

    Lovely! Yes, it’s a great place for photographing ferns. They love that old walled garden. It must have been magnificent in its day.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Jane

    Exactly – I wanted to do a Tom’s Midnight Garden thing and see the house & gardens at the time. Love the spots on the butterflies’ antennae – what a coup capturing them unawares so to speak – and I like the creamy delicacy of the Wild Strawberry flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Thank you AJ – I was certainly rather chuffed that I not only saw them but managed to get a decent photo too (I even videoed that amazing courtship too so kids could get a close up view)!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

        Technology these days is pretty impressive – remember those days of slides and only taking a couple of shots because it was so expensive! I spent last two evenings trying to get a descent shot of a Bombus Lapidarius (as only had them once in garden before) – still trying as they are very quick – but you could never have done that in the “old” days!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. aj vosse

        Then the flip side… I’ve spent the last few days deleting!! My laptop’s memories are/ were almost full! I’ve cleared about 60 Gigs… still a much to do! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Progress on 16 for 2016 | Murtagh's Meadow

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