Potential boost in butterfly sightings this autumn
THE BUTTERFLY Conservation is hoping for a boost in butterfly sightings in the coming weeks, following a disappointing August.
Gardeners are being asked to look out for butterflies after species struggled during the cold and wet summer holiday season.
However, the good spring and early summer conditions enabled more butterflies to fit in an extra generation.
This could allow for an impressive autumnal emergence of species such as Comma, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood in the coming weeks.
Butterfly Conservation head of, recording Richard Fox, said: ‘Gardens become increasingly important for butterflies at this time of year.
‘Nectar, the flight fuel for most of our butterflies, is in short supply in the countryside as we move into autumn, yet many of our garden flowerbeds and borders are still full of colour.
‘For some butterflies it is a matter of life and death; species such as the Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma, which hibernate as adult butterflies, have to feed up and lay down substantial fat reserves in their bodies in order to survive the winter. If they can’t find enough nectar they simply won’t make it through to breed next spring.
‘Others, such as the Painted Lady and Red Admiral will be taking on fuel reserves that they need to migrate south to warmer climes around the Mediterranean.’
Butterfly sightings can be entered online at www.gardenbutterflysurvey. org
A Red Admiral. Photograph: Tim Melling, Butterfly Conservation.