UK Butterflies Suffer Another Set-Back

argylesock says… Times are hard for butterflies. I’ll come back to blogging about them in my ‘Lepidopteran of the month’ series, when the academic year is over.

Birding Frontiers

With 2013 recording one of the coldest springs for 50 odd years, our British Butterflies have suffered a further set-back. Many have been late to emerge and our rarer species are now on the wing anything up to several weeks later than would be expected.

Butterfly Conservation have stated in an article I read recently, that the Pearl-bordered Fritillary did not emerge until April 27th (usually this species is on the wing by April 1st). The rare and endangered Wood White was first seen in early May (On the wing in 2012 by April 10th) and the Duke of Burgundy was only on the wing in late April, (up to three weeks later than 2012).


Grizzled Skipper


Pearl-bordered Fritillary


Duke of Burgundy


Wood White

2012 was a complete washout year and one of the worst years on record for our British Butterflies. Many species are in decline. How will they…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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2 Responses to UK Butterflies Suffer Another Set-Back

  1. Tony says:

    With or without climate change, Butterflies are a fantastic indicator of the state of the wider environment. I just can’t understand why we let these declines continue, year after year after year. If anything, it reflects on our society’s lack of interest in nature. When it is fundamental to life on earth, how can this be?

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