The Oldie

Clifden nonpareil

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This is the magnificen­t and rare blue underwing, which is making a comeback in Britain, after being hounded to extinction in this country by Victorian collectors. There are now several colonies breeding near me in Sussex, and they turn up in my garden. We hear a lot about species becoming extinct; less about species that return, or indeed new arrivals. More than 125 new species of moth have been spotted in Britain this century. Many arrived here after hitching a ride (like the spiny bollworm found in Buckingham Place a after a visit by a Tanzanian delegation), but some become ‘a ‘adventive colonists’, staying to breed.

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