Wednesday, 9 September 2009
A Billion Painted Ladies
A bumper year for the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). Conditions were so favourable in the early summer this year that much larger numbers of this migrant butterfly were recorded arriving in the UK. After two washout summers in which butterfly populations fell dramatically, entomologists predicted an immense hatching of the Painted Lady in particular - estimates were for a billion of these salmony-orange butterflies to appear in mid- and late August. Certainly the lavender in the Fellow's Garden at Merton College had a good covering, including this pristine specimen, feeding in the sun.