Large Heath: an iconic species of Thorne & Hatfield Moors.

The Large Heath, Coenonympha tullia is a butterfly of wet heaths, bogs and moorland and one of the Humberhead Levels key species.  This stunning image (courtesy of Martin Warne) was taken today and shows reduced spotting with a single forewing spot and with evidence of six hindwing spots but only three showing dark centres.  These characteristics are suggestive that this may be a specimen at the extreme range of the South Yorkshire population, readers are invited to discuss …. likewise offerings of photographs to illustrate the current diversity on Thorne and Crowle Moors, and indeed Hatfield Moors if the introduced population still survives there would be gratefully received via (all images will be acknowledged as copyright photographer and only used with permission).


150612 Large Heath mw

Large Heath, Thorne Moors

Image: Martin Warne.

The first Large Heath of the year were recorded on Thorne Moors week commencing 8 June.  Some 21 were recorded today so moderate numbers on the wing, when will they peak?

Large Heath has responded well to the re-wetting of Thorne Moors, where a remnant population hung on amidst the ravages wrought by drainage to faciltate peat extraction in the 1970 through to the early ‘noughties’.  Readers are recommended to read the paper “An update on the status of Large Heath butterfly on Hatfield Moors” (Kirk & Melling 2011) in Volume 8 of the Thorne & Hatfield Moors Papers.  The paper relates the fortunes of the species on neighbouring Hatfield Moors SSSI.


Don’t forget to book your place for the series of interesting, informative and potentially controvertial presentations 31 July (Crowle Community Hall) “The Flood Untamed”  Wetlands and flooding …. topical?

Another diary date is Hen Harrier Day Sunday 9 August, #HaveYouSeenHenry?

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