If you live in the north of Britain and you've seen unusual butterflies in your garden this year, you may be witnessing the range expansions that many species are undertaking as a result of global warming.
Reports of unusual moths and butterflies have abounded all across the country this summer (see news items for 8th August
, 17th August
, 21st August
and 25th August
). Some of the species are normally migratory and are being seen in greater than usual numbers because conditions have been very favourable this year. Others are continuing a longer term trend to expand their ranges northwards as the world warms up.
This week we have reports from Scotland of butterflies and moths turning up in unexpected places. The speckled wood (Pararge aegeria
) has been recorded for the first time on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, commas (Polygonia c-album
) have been recorded in Fife for the first time in nearly 200 years and the ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus
) has reached Moray Firth. Like the rest of the country, Scotland has also been recording higher than usual numbers of humming-bird hawkmoths (Macroglossum stellatarum
) and painted ladies (Cynthia cardui