This week we had a visit from a Painted Lady….
…..No! Not that kind of Painted Lady; this is Monday Macro after all!
The Painted Lady is a long-distance migrant, which causes the most spectacular butterfly migrations observed in Britain and Ireland.
Each year, it spreads northwards from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, recolonising mainland Europe and reaching Britain and Ireland.- Butterfly Conservation
Adults are first seen in late March as they start to arrive on our shores and numbers build up in May and June as further migrants arrive from the continent. These breed and give rise to the next generation that peaks in early August. There may be more than one brood in the British Isles each year – depending largely on the weather.
This butterfly is continuously brooded on the continent, which may be the cause of its ultimate demise in the British Isles, since it seems unable to survive our winter in any stage. However, it is thought that some individuals may make an attempt at a return migration in autumn. – UK Butterflies
About once every 10 years there is a mass migration of Painted Ladies from North Africa via Southern Europe, due to overpopulation in their homelands. In 2009 it’s estimated that over 11 million arrived in UK.
That was the year the newspaper headlines screamed: “UK expecting invasion of 11 million Painted Ladies“, which I’m sure led to some people being disappointed when they read that it was all about butterflies.
This year, so far, we have had one in the garden. Looking out at the wind and the rain this afternoon, we may not see another one this year.
When I looked closely at this photograph , I thought I could detect a look of surprise on its wee face:
Whilst here, it seemed to be smiling:
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