Painted lady butterflies

31 May 2009

Millions of painted lady butterflies are now arriving in Britain, after an amazing 1,000 mile migration from North Africa.

Scientists have been predicting an unusually large migration of painted lady butterflies since late winter. These butterflies originate in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, where heavy winter rains allowed good germination of the caterpillar's food plants. A Spanish researcher, Constanti Stefanescu, had reported seeing hundreds of thousands emerging in mid February and beginning their long flight north.

Over the sunny May bank holiday weekend thousand where seen in England, an estimated 18,000 were spotted flying past Scots Head Island on the Norfolk coast.

Within the Dams to Darnley Country Park painted lady butterflies have been seen in good numbers, over 15 were seen on Monday 1st June with regular sighting around Darnley Mill and along the main path network.

If you see a painted lady butterfly, please report it via the report a wildlife sighting.

Painted Lady Butterfly
Painted lady butterfly at Darnley Mill (May 2009)