Saturday, 24 July 2010

Butterfly week

Its butterfly week, apparently....  not that your likely to see many in this part of England.  Years of wet weather has given the native species a big hit lately, but the ultimate cause is changing land use patterns that have reduced the available habitat and eliminated many of the host plants our native butterflies use.  The problem, of course, is its a gradual process that has been going on for the last 30 years, so many people today don't really realize what they are missing.  Coming from North America, its painfully obvious how few insects remain in England, but even just picking up an old UK field guide or nature book published in the 50's or 60's and flipping through the pages reveals insect after insect that is either locally extinct or rarely seen.

Anyway, some photos of a species that is still common here: a larval Vapourer moth (Orgyia antiqua) munching on my roses.

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