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Hi everyone

i was very pleased to hear on the hampton court show..when talking to the butterfly man from eden project.. that they have found the rare large tortoise shell butterfly here on my very own isle of wight..

i have been transforming my garden over the last year to have more plants for bees and butterflies.. and i must say i have had lots of butterflies this year.. and am awaiting the siting of this rare one.. we have  had two butterflies this week come in doors while the doors are open.. one was a peacock and the other a painted lady.. large one too.. i so enjoy them as they flutter around..

has anyone else got lots of butterflies this year... if you have any pics please add them.. i have not been able to take any so far this year as camera is playing up when i try to use the close up selection..


  • jean6jean6 Posts: 157

    HI, how r u on this hot day..I`m stuck indoors yet again till evening.. get bad head otherwise.. I am in cambridge & seen a cple.. rare sitghtings this year..same with ladybirds..seen 2...

    Should i see one will definately take pic for you...image

  • It seems that for many years records of Large Tortoiseshells have turned out to be misidentifications or releases of captive stock. There are people in many parts of the country who release captive-bred butterflies and other creatures just for what they see as the fun of it.

  • The records from the Isle Of Wight are correct and photographed sightings.Also not captive bred releases.We should embrace this as a possible colony and a positive event.The idea od showing them was so that people could identify them correctly and that there maybe other bona fide colonies out there.

    To be honest it's about time we looked into reintroductions of the Large Tortoiseshell ,We weren't shy of reintroducing the french sub species of the Large Blue which is now thriving!!.More action like this and less surveys I say.Bring back the extinct butterflies. Oh and for the record I never release captive bred stock of rare species but happily release the common species in peoples gardens to help boost the numbers.More emphasis should be on the good work going on with butterfly gardening in particular like planting the relevant nectar and caterpillar foodplants and cutting out insecticides and fungicides.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,213

    Saw a couple of little Tortoiseshells today which are the first 'proper' ones if you know what I mean! I don't count the cabbage whites image

    Tyring to get lots of plants in my little wildlife area for them and there's a big Buddleia here which hopefully will get lots in so I'll get pix if I can gardeningf. Plenty of bees as I'm leaving clover to grow. The garden I had nearby for many years was full of butterflies - Red Admirals, Peacocks, Painted Ladies and Tortoiseshells- every year just by having a few suitable plants. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,982

    I wish you could persuade the 'spray anything that moves'  people how important this is and how interesting watching the wildlife can be 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • I agree with nutcutlet spaying things ruins the natural balance of the garden.

  • auntie bettyauntie betty Posts: 208

    I've had cabbage whites, large whites, orange tips, peacocks, small tortoiseshells, large blues, brimstones and a wee brown guy of some sort. Hoping for red admirals (the buddleja is massive, so hopeful) and maybe painted lady. I'm in North Yorkshire, but the soft dalesy warm bit, not the hard moorsy freezin bit... Would LOVE to see a hairstreak one day. Had a pair of commas last year!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,982

    I've still got no blues. There's mixed whites, small tortoiseshell, comma, peacock, meadow brown, ringlet, large skipper, brimstone, haven't seen an orange tip for a few weeks. The hummingbird hawkmoth hasn't turned up yet, or the painted ladies.

    Of the day-flying moths,  Silver Y moths are about and 2 species of plume moth, only seen one cinnabar and there's a very light orange something that I think is a moth rather than a butterfly. I have known what it was in the past but  it's one of the things that has fallen out of my head


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Fairygirl - don't knock the white butterflies! There are three common whites:  Large, Small and Green-veined, and they are just as interesting as the Tortoiseshell, etc.

    Auntie Betty, I doubt that you've seen a Large Blue in Yorkshire - there are only a few colonies on downland in the south of England. If you're in Yorkshire you should be able to find Green Hairstreaks in May/June - a local enthusiast ought to be able to help next year.

    Paul, I believe the reintroduced Large Blues were from a Swedish race that was more or less identical to the extinct British one. Not quite sure what you mean by advocating 'More action ... and less surveys'. The records are littered with amateur introductions of all sorts of fauna and flora. For instance, a few years ago it was a scandal that well-meaning enthusiasts were releasing captive-reared Barn Owls into habitats that were unable to support them, and they mostly ended up dead. As for less surveys, how do we find out what we've got? I'd be interested to see some references for the Isle of Wight Large Tortoiseshells. Agree with your call for better habitats for insects.

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