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Lovely cruise yesterday

Basingstoke canal

Aely  Female  Hampshire 7-Jun-2019 19:15 Message #4741438
I spent a very relaxing afternoon yesterday cruising between Odiham and The barley Mow near Crookham on the John Pinkerton !!. The weather was ideal, sunny but not too hot. Sandwhiches, cake and a hot drink were provided by the organisers.. It was the first time I have been on the new John Pinkerton, the original having been replaced about 6 years ago.

I saw lots of ducks and dragonflies but was particularly impressed by a butterfly (I assume not a moth) that was present in abundance. Non of us on the boat could identify it and I couldn't find it in my butterfly book. It was quite large and from some angles appeared black, but when its wings tipped towards the sun it showed itself to be a rich, dark blue. There didn't appear to be any white or other markings on its wings.

Can anybody suggest what it might have been?
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 7-Jun-2019 19:31 Message #4741439
Although you've looked in your book, it might show something online...There are a few websites, but one is that has quite a bit of info.
Aely  Female  Hampshire 7-Jun-2019 21:01 Message #4741445
I've been looking online as well. The nearest I came to it was a dark variation on the Purple Emperor but the habitat seems wrong and it is supposed to be fairly unusual. I must have seen 20 or more of them over a stretch of about 1/4 mile. It definitely wasn't the common blue, too large and much too dark in colour.
Aely  Female  Hampshire 7-Jun-2019 21:07 Message #4741446
Ah, back in July last year someone reported a "Well-worn Purple Emperor male" near Basingstoke. There is a photo they took but it is quite brown in places with very definite white markings. Not like the ones I saw.

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