A SCARCE Scottish winged insect, the Small Pearl Bordered fritillary, was one of the best “spots” at Broughtonknowe Woods last summer.

That is according to Iain Cowe, a Borders butterfly recorder.

Mr Cowe has just finished verifying and logging the 2023 butterfly records for the woodland, which were sent in by Pam Hart via iRecord.

Mr Cowe said: “The Small Pearl Bordered fritillary is one of the best spots this summer at the woodland.

“This scarce butterfly prefers damp grassland where Marsh Violet grows and is likely quite scattered across the hills around the woodland.

“It is one of our scarcest species across the Scottish Borders; however, this past decade we have received many records of this butterfly, from a growing number of keen nature lovers, such as those at Broughtonknowe woods.

“The key food plant of its caterpillar is the Marsh Violet and this plant is reasonably common across the Scottish Borders.

“The butterfly is on the wing in late May, through June, and into July and its status across the Scottish Borders is stable with an increasing range.”

Mr Cowe expects spotters at Broughtonknowe to discover more species this year including perhaps the Green Hairstreak, which he thinks will be present round the wood’s periphery.

Mr Cowe added: “The Green Hairstreak appears in early May and tends to be found in sheltered spots wherever there is Blaeberry.

“It is always tricky to spot as it is tiny, green and very, very nippy.”