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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hope for the Small Tortoiseshell?

When I was a lad the butterfly I remember most is the Small Tortoiseshell. I'm sure there were lots of whites etc but the Small Tortoiseshell was the one I remember flitting about the garden and sitting on the marigolds and dahlias.

Over the years its numbers have declined significant and so when I see one (like the one snapped in the link above on Sunday) it is a pleasurable experience.

The charity Butterfly Conservation was worried that Small Tortoiseshells were a dying breed after many fell victim to a parasitic fly. However 100's have been seen on the east coast during August and September, it is thought better weather helped them cross the channel and now these butterflies are moving inland.

We now have to hope that this influx has a positive impact on numbers next spring.


Tricia said...

Looks like one of those occasions when the weather acted in our (and the Butterflies', hopefully) favour. Let's hope we see more next year!

oldcrow61 said...

Always great to hear some good news like this.

Liz said...

I haven't seen any here yet, although they were up in Scotland back in August.

I hope all butterflies do better next year, still haven't seen a red admiral either. But I have seen other species I've never had before like orange-tips, common blues and meadow browns.

Yoke said...

it's good news for you' folk up there.

It's funny, I have hardly seen anything BUT Small Tortoise Shell Butterflies! They were everywhere, apparently mad about the Stinging Nettles and Brambles which seem to take over every square inch in this neck of the woods. Sea Aster they love too.

I do believe that the weather had a negative influence on the fact that I have only seen a few species this year, Small Tortoise Shell, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Large White and Speckled Wood.
With so much Nettle about I had expected to see Red Admirals and Peacocks too, have not seen any of those. I will check with Andy of the Irish Butterflies site how our status is.