Despite a national decline in recent years, Hiraethog is home to a variety of butterflies during the summer months.
The small pearl-bordered fritillary can be found on damp grassland and in woodland clearings. The adults fly close to the ground and feed off nectar from dog violets, bramble and thistles, and are coloured orange with intricate black patterns of dots and triangles.
The large heath butterfly is another Hiraethog resident and in serious national decline. Orange/brown in colour with darker dots on the upper and lower wings, it feeds off of hare’s tail cotton grass – the plant that looks like balls of cotton wool. This butterfly can fly even in quite dull weather provided the air temperature is higher than 14ºC, whereas the small heath butterfly flies only in sunshine.
You may see the more common orange tip butterfly which feeds on the dainty, pink cuckoo flower and other flower heads in early summer. Only the males of the species have the bright orange wing tips from which they get their name.