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With a life's experience of teaching field studies in the Forest of Dean, Brian Cave explores the ecology of rural France. More Info

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An English Naturalist in France

Bye Bye Garden Geraniums?

November 4, 2014

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Upper side

Geranium Bronze
Upper side.

       This  butterfly discovered by my daughter on one of her Geraniums (Perlagoniums) was unknown to her or myself.

Geranium Bronze
under side

         At first we mistook it for a long tailed blue. but it did  not fit the descriptions in the books.  Of course it isn’t ‘blue’ , but quite a few blue butterflies have females which are brown.   Eventually we realised that it was a ‘Geranium Bronze’ 

Googling the name tells much about it.  It is a pest of  garden Geraniums (the pelargoniums) and will also lay its eggs on wild geranium  species.

The original home of  the butterfly is South Africa  where the caterpillar is happy chewing at the wild Pelargoniums.    Now it has found its way to Europe via the Balearic islands and is widespread in France (spreading since  the early 1990′s)  and now is found in England. 

How much of a pest it is we will no doubt see in a few years.   In England it is on the notifiable list of DEFRA (Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Found  at Gourdon (46) the LOT on November 2nd 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Brian Cave. Find out more about Brian Cave here.