Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Conservationist saves 550 rare caterpillars of the Small Blue butterfly from redevelopment site

A conservationist has painstakingly hand-rescued more than 500 rare caterpillars from the Devon quarry which they inhabit, after the site was scheduled for redevelopment.

It is hoped that as spring arrives in the coming weeks, the caterpillars will metamorphosise into Small Blue butterflies – one of the rarest in the UK.

Over a period of four weeks last summer, Amanda Hunter, 59, spent hours spotting the butterflies, which are some of the country’s smallest breeds, growing at the abandoned quarry in Torbay.

Torbay is a stronghold for the Small Blues, where they are often found on cliffs and quarries, while numbers fluctuate due to weather and availability of the caterpillar food plant: kidney vetch.

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