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I don't know what subspecies this is, any thought would be welcome.
At the risk of rebuke, I don't like the way you are handling the butterfly. It looks to me like you have hold of its head and thorax which could cause damage. I know Brimstones can be hard to photograph as they are so flighty, but I wouldn't grab hold of one just for the sake of a photo.
Yes, you're quite right. I need to hold the thorax not the head and thorax as in the latter photo. Thank you for your comment. I shall have a speak again to my lecturer and investigate some courses.
As you're in England, it's almost certain to be ssp. rhamni - the other ssp in the UK is ssp. gravesi, the Irish form.
I'd also echo Vincent's comments - it's good practice to handle leps as little as possible, and I wouldn't consider getting a photo like this to justify it, personally.
Record your ladybird sightings!
Thank you for the identication. I'm quite concerned about my handling now this issue has been raised.
I did a lot of work with butterflies in Nicaragua and we caught and handled them all to identify them - working with a PhD student on the expedition. Is this not good practice? I would welcome your feedback.
I'm no expert but have 2 techniques. Either I sneak up on them and try to get a good photo (macro zoom useful not to spook them). Id for many species possible from photo. Or, I try to catch them with a proper butterfly net (fine mesh) and transfer them to a see through viewing pot (they fly up into the pot so no handling required). They can then be examined, identified and released without harm. This is useful for tricky species.
Thanks for your reply, I will investigate this method further. I envisage though that the butterflies will just fly upwards towards the top of the viewing pot but it must work as you have tried it. Note, my net is a lepidopterist net - at least thats correct.
I didn't explain that very well! Having caught the butterfly you turn the net upside down so it flies up to the bottom of the net. Then you can get it into the pot. Hard to describe it but there may be a better way to explain it!
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