Strange butterfly (London, UK)

Discussion in 'Butterfly / Moth' started by BenEastLondon, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. BenEastLondon

    BenEastLondon New Seed

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    Ok, this is a long shot!

    The other day I was in the street in Brixton, South London and saw a completely unfamiliar "butterfly."

    (The reason for the quotes is that when it landed it folded its upper wings over the lower ones, suggesting it might be a moth rather than a butterfly.)

    Description:

    Upper wings, black and white patterned.
    Lower wings, red and white patterned - the red was a more orangey tone than many other butterflies.

    Overall this butterfly was large - bigger than a large white or red admiral, the biggest species you would normally see and its wings seemed more square-shaped than pointed like a normal butterfly and the upper and lower wings were closer to each other in size - usually the top wings are bigger.

    Finally, when it flew, the wings seemed a lot more flimsy than most butterflies - the edges seemed to flap as if they were ragged.

    I watched it for a few minutes and tried to get close enough for a photo before the it flew across the street and I lost it.

    This was a very unusual butterfly - I'm not an expert, but I do recognise all the major species and this was bigger than anything I've seen in the wild.

    Does anyone have any idea what I saw?!

    Thanks!
     
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  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    What a pity the butterfly/moth flew away before you could get a shot of it. :( However if you try looking at Tiger Moths (the Garden, Scarlet and Harnessed may be possibilities) and Arichanna Melanaria (which all come fairly close to your description.) Maybe you'll be able to ID it from the pictures on the web.
    Do let us know if you discover what it was won't you?
     

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