Continental swallowtail butterflies attempting to colonise UK, experts say

Daily Echo: The continental swallowtail butterfly The continental swallowtail butterfly

A SPECTACULAR butterfly from the continent could be attempting to colonise the UK, experts said after a number emerged on the south coast.

A dozen adult continental swallowtail butterflies have been seen across Sussex in the past few weeks after wintering in the UK, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation said.

Last year’s hot summer led to the the largest invasion of the swallowtails since 1945, with butterflies also seen in Suffolk, Kent, Hampshire and Dorset.

The butterfly – which has striking black and yellow markings and a streamer-shaped tail – finds it difficult to survive winter in the UK’s relatively cold climate. But the emergence of adults from pupae in recent weeks suggests its breeding attempts last year were successful.

Comments (2)

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11:11am Tue 17 Jun 14

BeyondImagination says...

An invasion of 12?
An invasion of 12? BeyondImagination
  • Score: 1

2:31pm Tue 17 Jun 14

southy says...

Papilio machaon
Species
britannicus = the native swallowtail to britian
gorganus = the southern and centeral europe swallowtail
machaon = not been recorded in Britian yet, northern europe
the one in the picture is off a gorganus how you tell them apart is to look at the amount of creamy white at the teardrop
Papilio machaon Species britannicus = the native swallowtail to britian gorganus = the southern and centeral europe swallowtail machaon = not been recorded in Britian yet, northern europe the one in the picture is off a gorganus how you tell them apart is to look at the amount of creamy white at the teardrop southy
  • Score: 0

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