Wednesday 17 July 2013

Where Have All the Butterflies Gone?

Beautiful hot, sunny weather has come to Highland Perthshire. Summer has arrived at last. The sunny weather is perfect for butterflies, but sadly there are hardly any to be seen. The ranger service surveys 2 butterfly transects every week, and the lack of butterflies has been very evident. The flowers are abundant with nectar for the butterflies to feed on, and the weather is certainly warm anough for them to be active.
Ready for a butterfly transect.
The reason that the butterflies are not around goes back to the poor summers of the last 2 years here. Poor weather gave them little opportunity to be active to feed and breed. It may take some time for the populations to build up again locally. However, ringlets are just appearing and will soon be followed by Scotch Argus. These butterflies can be active in poorer weather and so were less affected by the conditions of the last 2 years. So we should see some more activity if the sun stays shining!

Scotch Argus

It's also better news locally with the moths, which are certainly enjoying the warm nights and are making up for the lack of butterflies to some degree. Because they are mostly nocturnal, they don't need sun and warmth to the same degree as butterflies and so are less affected by poor conditions.  This is good news because many bird species are dependent on moth caterpillars to feed their chicks, and moths also pollinate many plants.


1 comment:

  1. The ringlets are flying everywhere now, and the odd Scotch Argus is starting to appear.