Painted Lady Summary To Date 26-05-2009
In haste....Painted Lady Summary
· Phenomenal breeding season in the Atlas Mountains due to winter rain – eg estimated 150,000 pupae in a single field.
· Mass dispersal north across Mediterranean from February.
· UK: Small numbers faded individuals reached UK April-mid May - widely scattered in one's and two's.
· Breeding of African winter brood in Southern Europe Feb onwards.
· Mainland Europe– waves/pulses of northerly migration across the whole of Europe from February onwards – Spain, France, Italy, Mediterranean Islands etc, in the preceding days and weeks, with arrivals in Northern France, Germany and the Netherlands the middle of last week.
· Stable isotope work confirms that they those sampled are from the Atlas Mountains.
· UK: 21st May first substantial arrival detected in the UK, at Portland Bill (~100).
· The big NW movement occurred 24/25 May when at a guess 10-50 million arrived, mainly fresh individuals (those that have bred in southern Europe) plus first generation faded African insects. Big counts all over southern Britain (~50,000 counted), especially East Anglia.
· Small numbers in Northern England but no large arrivals yet….should be any day
· Some starting to settle to breed – eg in Cornwall., SW England
· Also involved in the migration Large Whites, Red Admirals, Clouded Yellows and Silver Y's
· Classic weather conditions for a large arrival over the Bank Holiday – low pressure over Northern France feeding warmer air to Southern/Eastern England. Warm, sunny with easterly winds over Eastern Britain allowing butterflies to migrate strongly NW with a favourable tail wind.
· More are expected – Thursday and Friday this week looks good for another immigration!
· Then we will have the offspring of this brood in July and August, so there should be huge numbers around – I wouldn't like to be a thistle in August!
· This is a global phenomena - with a major movement from Mexico into California happening about a fortnight ago.
· Butterfly Conservation Press release tomorrow.
· You can enter your sightings and see how far the butterflies have got, at: