• Sim Elliott

Butterflies at Friston Gallops, Friston Forest. 16.08.22

On Thursday I went on a trip with friends to Friston Gallops (above Butchershole Bottom) in the Friston Forest near Jevington; it is well know for its butterfly abundance and diversity. This is its citation on the Butterfly Conservation Sussex website


Grid ref: TV 555 994

Nearest town: Eastbourne

Large open Downland area, surrounded by woodland. Mainly managed by Forest Enterprise.

Access details Well signed car park off road between Friston and Jevington. Open downland is to the West

Key species Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Marbled White. Good populations of Common Blue, Small Copper, some Dark Green Fritillary. Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral in the adjoining Friston Forest.


Other common species The open Downland area has a huge population of common butterfly species, and wild flowers, including Pyramidal and Common Spotted Orchid.

Author Graham Parris Butterfly Conservation - Sussex Branch - PAGE TITLE (sussex-butterflies.org.uk)


We saw the first rain in Sussex for many months; a welcome change to the dry weather which has damaged the landscape of Sussex. After a thunder storm, the sun shone briefly (from ca. 11.00-12.00), during which we saw many butterflies warming up, by spreading their wings. Butterflies are ectotherms, which means they rely on external sources for body heat. In the morning, and throughout cooler days, they must spend time in the sun with their wings spread, raising their body temperature to roughly 85 degrees before they can fly. A few minutes of basking in the sunshine raises their temperature as much as 20 degrees above the surrounding air. 5 Basic Butterfly Behaviors to Know - Birds and Blooms


My last trip to Friston Gallops was in June, see: Friston Forest, Friston Gallops and Lullington Heath. Butterflies & Birds. 14.06.22 (simelliott.net)


The photographs are in chronological order.


All sections of text in italics are quotes, sources cited.


Male Chalkhill Blue


Male Common Blue


Male Common Blue


Very faded female Common Blue on Hawkbit


Common Blue


Female Common Blue


Male Common Blue


Female Chalkhill Blue on Wild Carrot


Male Chalkhill Blue


Common or Chalkhill Blue female?


Female Chalkhill Blue


Female Common Blue


Meadow Brown on Knapweed


Common Blue


Green-Veined White on Bramble


Female Common Blue

Common Blue


Male Meadow Brown


Small Copper



Female Common Blue on Wild Carrot (?)


Brown Argus (?) on Hawkbit (?)


Common Blue of Knapweed


Wall Brown


Common Blue


Four-spotted Orb Weaver ?


Small Heath on thistle (?) head


Common Blue on Knapweed


Hepiopelmus variegatorius (I had to ask in the Bees Wasps and Ants Recording Society (BWARS) Facebook Group to get the exact ID)! In Britain this wasp is a parasitoid of Buff and White Ermine moths. The female injects her long ovipositor inside the host caterpillar and deposits her eggs into the caterpillar’s body. Her young hatch and devour their host, pupate, and emerge to begin the cycle again. https://www.naturespot.org.uk/.../hepiopelmus-variegatorius


Common Blue on Great Willow Herb



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