Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A little info: garden butterflies..............

Garden butterflies

You will not see 58 species of butterfly in your garden.

Most people know the Small White and Large White butterflies; these two species are regarded as pests by vegetable gardeners for they lay their eggs on cabbages and other garden plants.

The other 56 resident species lay their eggs on nettles, grasses and wildflowers and consequently are not a problem for gardeners.

Other white butterflies that visit a garden are the Green-veined White butterfly and in the Spring, the Orange Tip butterfly.
Probably the most noticable butterflies in the garden - after the White ones - are the members of the Nymphalidae family that are found feeding on Buddleia bushes :- Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Painted Lady, Red Admiral and Comma.

Conspicuous by their colour are the yellow butterflies: the Brimstone butterfly and the Clouded Yellow butterfly. Also readily noticed are the little blue butterflies: the Common Blue butterfly and the Holly Blue butterfly.

Some butterflies do not travel far from their local colony and require a particular habitat in which to live. Some are woodland species, some like chalk grassland, some live in marshy fenland, some belong to high moorland and some can be found in the sand dunes around the coastline. The Chalkhill Blue butterfly (like many of the blue butterflies) is one of the species found on chalk grassland for example.

If you live very close to a local colony of a particular butterfly, then clearly you have a chance of seeing that species in your garden. Some species will never be seen in your garden because it isn't their habitat.

Rare butterflies
The Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, Adonis Blue and Silver-studded Blue, Northern Brown Argus, Chequered Skipper, Silver-spotted Skipper and Large Blue are rare butterflies. When you are trying to identify a butterfly, these ones are not likely candidates. It's not impossible that these would visit your garden but you do need to live in the right place!

Other resident british butterflies, like the Swallowtail and the Lulworth Skipper, may not be regarded as rare but are concentrated at specific locations.

Migrant butterflies
Some butterfly species are occasionally seen in the british isles but are not resident here: Pale Clouded Yellow, Berger's Clouded Yellow, Bath White, Long-tailed Blue, Short-tailed Blue, Camberwell Beauty, Large Tortoiseshell, Map, Queen of Spain Fritillary and Monarch.

Exotic butterflies
Butterfly farms around the UK hold some exotic butterfly species. Sometimes a butterfly escapes, so watch out if you are in the neighbourhood of one of these places.

Day-flying moths
Some of the day-flying Moths are often mistaken for butterflies too.

A-Z list of British Butterflies

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