Weather’s contradictions confuses spring butterflies

Have your say

The spring weather has baffled the UK’s butterflies, with some emerging unusually early because of the warm March while other were hit by the April.

Willdlife charity Butterfly Conservation said some spring species emerged several weeks early in March, but the wettest April on record and this month’s continuing rain have delayed the appearance of many butterflies.

Now, they are warning that if the wet conditions continue it could affect the breeding success of some species later in the year.

Cold, wet weather makes butterflies less active, reducing feeding and mating.

Among those to appear early were the small blue butterfly, which was seen on March 30 on the Isle of Wight, one of the earliest dates recorded for the species and several weeks ahead of its usual emergence between mid-April and early May.

Surveys manager Richard Fox said: “The worry about this April is that the butterflies that did emerge will have poor breeding success due to the bad weather.”