Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Exotic butterflies could make 2015 a memorable year, say conservationists

Butterfly Conservation hopes continental swallowtail, scarce tortoiseshell and large tortoiseshell will successfully overwinter

Monday 8 December 2014 10.31 GMT

Next year could be an exciting one for lepidopterists if exotic butterfly species which appeared in the UK in 2014 are able to survive the winter here, conservationists have said.

Species such as the continental swallowtail, the scarce tortoiseshell and the large tortoiseshell were all seen in Britain in 2014 following an unprecedented series of immigration and emergence of exotic butterflies.

Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation raised the possibility that some of these butterflies may be able to successfully overwinter in the UK and emerge again in 2015.

This year saw the offspring of continental swallowtail butterflies, which had arrived in 2013 in the largest numbers since 1945, emerging in late spring as adults along the south coast from Suffolk to Dorset.

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