Island haven for rare butterfly

By Martin Neville

Saturday, April 7, 2012

 

Island haven for rare butterfly

Sighting of the large tortoiseshell butterfly.

A RARE butterfly has been spotted on the Isle of Wight.

With its beautiful orange wings fully open, this large tortoiseshell butterfly was snapped by Peter Hunt, at Walters Copse, Newtown.

Since taking the photograph, Mr Hunt, a member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight branch of Butterfly Conservation, said there had been at least two other sightings of the butterfly in the last week.

He said: "It seems the very occasional sightings of this butterfly are mainly made on the Isle of Wight.

"Sightings at this time of the year are of butterflies that have hibernated on the Island, not migrants from the Continent.

"It is a butterfly of woodland edges and orchards, as eggs are laid on elms, willow, sallow and some fruit trees."

In most books, the butterfly is registered as having died out in the UK. However, some experts believe it breeds on the Island.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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