Monday, August 25, 2008

Buddleias and butterflies

The Daily Telegraph reports that last two summers, which have been wet, have been bad for butterflies:

Garden species such as small tortoiseshell, peacock and red admiral seem to have been among the worst hit.

Butterfly Conservation, which conducts an annual survey through volunteer spotters, says an accurate picture won't emerge until early next year when all the data has been analysed.

Chief executive Dr Martin Warren said: "There is no doubt that it has been dire for most species and unfortunately it follows an already bad run of summers.

"We are really concerned about the small tortoiseshell which has been in long-term decline and which seems to have reached a trough and stayed there."

My own observation, based on the buddleia in my garden, is that this year has been bad for butterflies, but better than last year when I saw none at all. This year there are plenty of cabbage whites, but that is about it. A few years ago I was getting exotica like hummingbird hawk-moths.

There is much more on the Butterfly Conservation site.

Talking of buddleias, there was an "In praise of..." piece in the Guardian this morning. It contained the important fact that the shrub is named after a Revd Adam Buddle.

Thanks to Redster for the photograph.

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

The buddleia straddling my garden and next door seems to have been shunned this year. Plenty of small and large cabbage whites (their caterpillars eating my brassicas), various fritillaries, plus small blues and the odd larger one. Better than last year, in fact. No moths yet. Nothing exotic such as red admiral or peacock any more. I'm south west of you.
Other things are different: strange bugs eating things, snails and slugs eating everything in sight (or smell). Different birds earlier as well.