Wednesday 29 August 2012

mourning cloak & camberwell beauty...

I was interested to discover in our book that the mourning cloak butterfly -Nymphalis antiopa- so admired by myself and Jennifer in a park in New York in June (read more here) is the same species as the camberwell beauty which can sometimes be seen here in the UK, being a rare migrant to our shores.

It's so hard to believe that such seemingly fragile creatures actually can migrate, but they can and do...

The monarch butterfly in Canada and northern states of the USA is the best-known example - it makes a 3,000 mile journey south each year to overwinter in Mexico and California. A number of species that we see here in Britain are migratory too - red admiral and painted lady butterflies and silver-Y and humming-bird hawk moths all travel to us in the spring from as far away as north Africa and southern Europe.

Read more about the camberwell beauty on this excellent website -, in association with Butterfly Conservation.

mourning cloak butterfly, New York, photo taken by Jennifer Alexander, 17th June 2012


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