Po­ten­tial boost in but­ter­fly sight­ings this au­tumn

The Oban Times - - OUTDOORS -

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.

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