Pearls in the Forest
The Forest is home to many species of insects, some inconspicous and difficult to find and others vivid and easily sighted. An example of the latter are the Pearl-bordered Fritillary and the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Both butterflies can be found in the forest during the spring.
The Pearl-bordered Fritillery is the first to emerge as an adult. Its flight time is very brief, just a few short weeks. Individuals may only have three or four days to feed and mate.
As the Pearl-bordered Fritillary numbers begin to dwindle they are sometimes replaced by a equally dazzling fritillary; the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. This insect is far less common and the Wyre Forest is one of the few locations in the UK that this splendid butterfly can be found.
It can sometimes be difficult to identify the Pearl-bordered from the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Despite the name of the latter, they are very similar in size. One useful method of recognising the difference is to look for the digits 730 on the upper wing of the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, as can be seen in the photograph below.