Today I photographed another possible diseased butterfly, which I think is a green hairstreak, because I photographed a healthy one a couple of days ago and this one is the same size and shape but has lost most of its colour.
Does anyone know if this could be the explanation and how common is it? Most diseases I can find information about are caused by parasitoids and are fatal.
I once had a bf give me tesco bought flowers which contained a caterpillar I couldnt identify - very plain looking. I fed it various veg greens until it cocooned in a bit of netting I gave it. About 2 weeks later it revealed itself to be a rather sweet little light golden moth with brilliant green eyes and pupils that followed you around. Naturally I named it Rodriguez Esterado Le'bayago.
But alas it was ID'd as a major crop pest in northern America (I forget now which). Feeling the almighty gaze of DEFRA I decided that although it was unlikely to find a mate, if it's brothers and sisters travelled on similar flowers in the same region it was negligent of me to release the poor little thing. DEFRA did in the end ask me to kill it or send it to them, but I couldnt bring myself to do so, so for the next 6 weeks I fed it sliced grapes and watched it live out it's life in a handy tank I found when I kept an apple snail. At about week 4 it started to moult lightly.. by week 5 it could barely fly.. very sad . R.I.P Rodriguez!!