A brief visit to an area of remnant heathland produced these images of one of the more enigmatic butterflies to occur in the London Area, needless to say it was a new species for me. The day was somewhat overcast if a bit muggy which helped to keep the butterflies a little torpid but still lively enough to pose obligingly; a little more sun and they would have been elusive sprites dashing above the heather, a little less and they would not have shown at all.
A greenhorn lepidopterist at large in suburban London
Berrylands Station is on the London Waterloo to Hampton Court line between New Malden and Surbiton, a 25 minute train journey from central London. I became aware of its potential for attracting moths in late August 2008. The station is situated on an embankment with the Hogsmill Sewage Farm directly to the north and a typical mix of suburban houses and gardens to the south. The elevated aspect of the station and the comparative lack of domestic and street lighting in the immediate area mean that it acts like a huge moth trap, there are white-painted covered waiting areas and staircases on both platforms, these are illuminated at night and most of the moths are found in these areas. What follows is my attempt as a novice lepidopterist to record and catalogue all the macro moths I encounter on my daily commute to work along with the occasional "awayday" in search of other British lepidoptera .