It's no secret that I'm a bit of a butterfly nut,

  Forum Editor 18:42 24 Jul 10
Locked

and no secret that they (butterflies, not nuts) are in serious trouble. David Attenborough is the President of Butterfly Conservation, and he has recently said:

"Butterflies in profusion tell us that all is well with nature. When they decline it's a warning that other wildlife will be soon heading the same way."

Butterfly Conservation is running a national butterfly count between now and 1st August, and is asking that we spend fifteen minutes or so counting the butterflies we see wherever we happen to be outdoors.

This isn't a petition, or a charity appeal for money, so I feel justified in posting about it. It would be great if you feel able to take part.

click here for everything you need to know.

Many thanks.

  octal 18:52 24 Jul 10

I notice they've included moths as well. Thanks for the link, I usually have my lunch over the meadows at the back of Ealing Hospital, I'll print this off and add to the count. I have seen quite a few over there this year so far.

Just as an aside, I notice Dragon flies are around as well, there's quite a few of those around the Grand Union canal.

  sunnystaines 19:16 24 Jul 10

this year seems an abundance of butterflies, not seen so many around for years.

many
red admirals
tortoseshells
cabbage whites + cabbage white with orange tips
the small blue ones forgotton the name.
peacocks.

  mr simon 20:35 24 Jul 10

My knowledge of butterflys is as rudimentary as it gets, so forgive me for not knowing the proper name but there are white ones everywhere when I cycle to work. Swarms even.

  SB23 21:21 24 Jul 10

I work at a garden centre and nursery, and for the past few weeks while potting on plants in the greenhouse and in the poly tunnels I've noticed all sorts of butterflies and the like.
I just need to be able to tell the difference, but I'll do my best.

  BRYNIT 22:13 24 Jul 10

This will give my nieces something to do when I take them out tomorrow.

The Humming-bird Hawk-moth click here is one I have not seen yet although they seem to be all over the place. click here

After a read I was surprising at how many large moths fly during the day. I was also surprised to find the other week an Elephant Hawk-moth click here never seen one before must have had my eyes closed.

  rdave13 22:28 24 Jul 10

Having worked permanent nights for the past three months, the moths flying around range from small to a respectable huge size! There's plenty of them as well. Only in good weather though.

  rdave13 22:40 24 Jul 10

One thing I have just thought about is the absence of flying beatles this year. Around the place of my work you could see and hear the drone of quite big flying beetles. Some would be captured in those violet bug killing rentokill lights near an entrance door.
Not seen one this year which is unusual.

  WhiteTruckMan 22:49 24 Jul 10

are they called butterflies? I could understand flutterbys.

WTM

  Forum Editor 22:53 24 Jul 10

The white butterflies with orange wintips are called - not surprisingly - Orange tips.

It gets a little confusing because only the males have the orange tips, the females have black tips, and look quite like small whites - a different butterfly altogether.

White butterflies - commonly called Cabbage whites - come in large and small varieties.

  Forum Editor 23:04 24 Jul 10

Why are they called butterflies?

The name probably originated from the fact that one of the first butterflies on the wing each year is the Brimstone,and the males have distinctive bright yellow wings. Country people associated them with churning butter at the beginning of spring ,and called them butterflies. Another story was that fairies recruited the Brimstone to steal Spring butter to replenish their supplies, and parents pointed out these 'butterflies' to their children.

Take your pick, I tend to favour the association with Springtime butter churning. Brimstones are fairly large butterflies, and a male on the wing is a pretty striking sight.

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